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In Mali, MNLA Accuses Bakamo Of Supporting MAA, Ladsous Spins

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 14 -- Amid renewed fighting in the desert between Kidal and Gao, it is perhaps not surprising that Agence France Presse would simply retype from another state media the views of the government in Bamako:

Bamako (AFP) - Armed groups in northern Mali were on the move Friday in violation of a truce ahead of peace talks next week, the government said, amid reports of renewed fighting. 'Corroborating information details military gatherings and even advances by troops from armed groups in certain locations in the north,' a government statement released by Mali's state-owned news agency said.”

  But what of those who repeat without qualification the pronouncements of Herve Ladsous, long time French diplomat now installed as the fourth French boss of UN Peacekeeping in a row? Ladsous in Bamako dismissed any involvement by the Malian government in the clash. Here for balance is the view of the MNLA, auto-translated:

"The MNLA inform the national opinion of Azawad and international struggles of the Friday, July 11, 2014 at Anefis have opposed the coalition of pro-government militias composed of opinion :

- The militia led by Tuareg Service General Alhaj gamou;

- The militia of the pro-MAA Malian government created, maintained and supported by Bamako;

- Militia MUJAO and narco-traffickers."

 Returning from Mali back on June 19, UN aid official John Ging unlike Ladsous took questions from the Press and answered with a candor too rare in the UN system.

  Inner City Press asked about Mali's president having spent $40 million on a new airplane. (Inner City Press' story on the International Monetary Fund's criticism of the purchase, reiterated at the IMF's June 19 embargoed briefing, is here).

  Ging contrasted the jet purchase with the human needs he saw in the country --  here is a link to OCHA's Mali page -- and said he agreed with the IMF's criticism.

  Inner City Press asked who is in control in Kidal? Ging replied that humanitarians deal as they must with whoever is in de facto control of territory.

  Beyond Mali, Ging said in the Central African Republic, “there has been an ethnic cleansing under our watch.”

The Free UN Coalition for Access thanked Ging for holding briefings when he returns from trips -- here's hoping Oscar Fernandez Taranco does so when he returns from Sri Lanka -- and for his candor.

  If the UN had more officials like Ging its denials in Haiti, of bringing cholera, and in Sri Lanka of doing far too little (and worse), would not be what they are today. Watch this site.


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