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Mission to Mali Deferred on Who Will Pay for ECOWAS Plans, French Qs

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 5 -- When a Mali resolution was belatedly adopted by the UN Security Council on Monday morning, already the focus was on a second resolution that would provide funds for a mission to Mali.

  Inner City Press asked French Ambassador Gerard Araud who would pay for such a mission, and if it would have a human rights monitoring component.

  Araud replied that his ECOWAS colleague who was waiting to speak would address those questions, but that funding might come for example from the European Union, and that the Council would not give ECOWAS a "carte blanche" in Mali.

  Next, Inner City Press asked ECOWAS Commission President Kadre Desire OUEDRAOGO the same question: who will pay, and will there by a human rights monitoring component?

  The latter question he answered in terms of humanitarian needs, not human rights monitoring. This seems to be the new trend, whether in the AMISOM mission in Somalia, the Ethiopian-only UNISFA mission in Abyei, or even the UN's own mission in Western Sahara, MINURSO, which does not have human right monitors.

  Inner City Press followed up by asking if the 3200 personnel cited by Kadre Desire OUEDRAOGO -- up from the 3000 of which he told Inner City Press back on June 15 -- would include police. Yes, he said, and civilians.

  (On that, specifically the top civilians post, Inner City Press deadpan told ECOWAS' Commissioner for Political Affairs Salamatu Hussaini Suleiman that Ibrahim Gambari might be available. He came to the UN Envoys' retreat at Greentree in New York and resigned from UNAMID, as Inner City Press exclusively reported.  Gambari in Timbuku with another $600,000 house?)

  Finally Moroccan Permanent Representative Loulichki came out and spoke in Arabic, but graceously took questions from Inner City Press in English, including one on Syria. On Mali, Inner City Press asked if the goal is to dislodge the "terrorists and criminals" from Northern Mali or Azawad, or to help train the Mali's army to do so?

  Loulichki cited ECOWAS' goals, including negotiating with all who are willing to renounce terrorism. Inner City Press asked if that meant MNLA could be spoken with, but not Ansar Dine? Loulichki specified that only those who favor a unified Mali AND renounce terrorism can be spoken with.

  On Syria, Inner City Press asked Loulichki about the morning's announcement by General Robert Mood that UNSMIS would pull back resources and personnel from Homs and Idlib.

  Loulichki said Morocco will support whatever option best will protect civilians and support a "political process." Inner City Press waited for the word "transition" but didn't hear it. Lost in translation?

Footnotes on France: after the Mali session and stakeouts, at least two Council delegations suggested to Inner City Press that France would pay for this ECOWAS mission to Mali. One also expressed surprise that when French Ambassador Araud spoke, and gamely took two rounds of questions from Inner City Press, the French media didn't bother coming to the stakeout. As was recently highlighted, one is essentially state media, with over 40% of its income coming from French government subscriptions.

 Meanwhile, from inside the ECOWAS delegation came complaints to Inner City Press about a Gulf television network expecting them to cancel meetings, like with the Security Council's president, in order to re-enact the stakeout they'd already done on UN TV. Watch this site.

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These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

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