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On Mali, France Drafts Its Own Blank Check for $800M Mission Led by Its Ladsous

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 15 -- To some it seems strange that France would be the country to draft the Security Council's resolution on Mali, and that its draft would have the Council “welcoming the action of the French forces.”

  But the French draft, which Inner City Press has put online here, would also authorize French forces to use “all necessary means” to intervene.

  Before the draft came out, Inner City Press asked French Permanent Representative Gerard Araud to compare France's plans for Mali with what it did in Cote d'Ivoire, where it operated its own Force Licorne parallel to, and often ultimately directing, the UN mission. Araud declined.

  On Monday Inner City Press asked Araud about Chad saying it will pull its troops from the anti-guerrilla or anti-terrorist fight in Mali. Araud replied, that was an announcement of president Deby, and said it wouldn't immediately impact the negotiations on the proposed new $800 million UN mission, MINUSMA.

  As another comparison, one wonders if the transition from the untried AFISMA to MINUSMA will go better than in the Democratic Republic of Congo, between MONUC and the current discredited MONUSCO.

  Behind it all is Herve Ladsous, the fourth Frenchman in a row to head UN Peacekeeping. As shown, while Ladsous represented France at the UN during the Rwanda genocide, he argued for the escape of the genocidaires into Eastern Congo.

  Having a DPKO chief independent from France would be one way to counter-act the danger of letting France drafts it own mandate in Mali. But there is an increasing sense of who Ladsous works for. Watch this site.

Footnote: on the green side, the resolution says “to consider the environmental impacts of MINUSMA.” So will there be an Environmental Impact Statement? Watch this site.

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