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Looking in Mali for UN Cash Are French Contractors Thales, Bolloré & Sodexho

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, December 4 -- After France intervened in Mali, it got the UN Security Council and Fifth (Budget) Committee to approve a UN Peacekeeping mission there, MINUSMA.

Now it emerges that French companies are lining up to get the UN money for providing logistics for the MINUSMA mission, run by UN Peacekeeping under its fourth French chief in a row, Herve Ladsous.

While Ladsous refuses to answer Press questions (video here, UK coverage here), those named as lining up at the trough to get paid by Ladsous' MINUSMA are not only US-based Pacific Architects & Engineers but also French companies Thales Communications et Services, Bolloré, Geos and Sodexho, which has been big in private prisons, of interest given the UN's inaction on its Malian partners locking up children.

On December 3, beyond asking French ambassador to the UN Gerard Araud about the Malian Army shooting unarmed protesters in Kidal, Inner City Press asked Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesperson Martin Nesirky:

Inner City Press: on Mali, there was a report naming children that are incarcerated by the Malian Army and authorities, saying they should be released and describing exactly how they were imprisoned. Given that MINUSMA (United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali) works with the Malian army and there is a UN presence there, including human rights monitoring, has the UN chimed in on this? Are they seeking the release of these children detainees of the Malian authorities?

Spokesperson: I’ll need to check. I don’t have anything on that, Matthew.

And more than 24 hours later, still nothing. Meanwhile as France dominates UN Peacekeeping through the taciturn Ladsous, with his history of arguing for the escape of genocidaires from Rwanda into Eastern Congo over which he now flies a drone, and tries to get UN Peacekeeping deals in Mali for its contractors, Reuters is reporting on the end of FrancAfrique. Hardly. Watch this site.


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