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In Mali, French Triple Play Has EU Lecointre & UN Ladsous, Sanogo Not Shown

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, February 27 – With a move on in the UN Security Council to prepare a blue helmeted UN Peacekeeping mission for Mali, rather than the African AFISMA mission approved in December, it looks like it could be a clean sweep for France.

  UN Peacekeeping is run by Herve Ladsous, the fourth Frenchman in a row in that position. Ladsous in fact was France's Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN in and around 1994.

  On Wednesday Inner City Press asked France's current Permanent Representative Gerard Araud, what about coup leader Captain Amadou Sanogo now being formally in charge of the “reform” of the Malian military?

  Araud replied that it is possible to deal only with Mali's General Chief of Staff, who is named Ibrahima Dahirou Dembele.

  In this, Araud followed the line of the head of the European Union Training Mission (EUTM), General Francois Lecointre, who said between Ibrahima Dahirou Dembele and Defense Minister Yamoussa Camara, “these contacts are sufficient for me.”

  And Francois Lecointre is what? A French military official, of course. Call it the French connection.

  Inner City Press also asked Araud about reports that Chad had told France that Malian fighters have escaped into Darfur in Sudan.

  Araud said he was not aware of this, and it was not discussed in Security Council consultations. But shouldn't it have been? Since the Council already has a $1 billion peacekeeping mission in Darfur?

  And what DID Sudanese foreign minister Ali Karti discuss with his French counterpart Laurent Fabius in Paris? Watch this site.

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