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On Mali, Rice Enumerates Democracy in Bamako & Driving Terror From North

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, December 12 -- Alongside the UN Security Council's frenzy about the North Korean launch on Wednesday, a draft resolution on Mali was circulated and consultations started.

  But it seemed clear that the country's second coup, just this week in which the Prime Minister, formerly Microsoft's Ambassador to Africa, was forced to resign, would impact on the resolution.

  So at a stakeout by US Ambassador Susan Rice otherwise about North Korea, Inner City Press went called on asked about Mali:

Inner City Press: One quick question on Mali. This resignation, or forced resignation, of the Prime Minister that took place earlier this week -- does it change the U.S.'s thinking at all on how the Council should proceed in terms of authorizing a force to reclaim Northern Mali?

Ambassador Rice: Well, as you, Mali has been and remains a very complex situation and from the United States' point of view we have multiple parallel interests and objectives, one of which, is the swiftest possible restoration of democratic government in Bamako. And indeed, what has transpired over the last few days is yet another setback in that regard. But we also are very much committed to collective effort, to ensure that there is not an enduring safe haven for terrorists in the north of Mali. And the Security Council resolution that is under discussion is yet another in a progression of potential actions and some obviously prior actions that we are working on to address, in particular, the challenge of restoring sovereignty and territorial integrity and ridding terrorists from the north of Mali. So we’ll continue to work with that interest at heart. Thank you very much.

   No, thank you. Earlier, French Ambassador Gerard Araud told the press that it's not a question of one resolution or two, but rather how the Council should oversee the mission they authorize. There is still, of course, the question of how the force will be paid for: from assessed contributions by all members, or only voluntary.

  Then even more after the second coup, there is the question of the UN's claimed Human Rights Due Diligence Policy, which Assistant Secretary General Ivan Simonovic told Inner City Press will apply in Mali.

  The main implementer, or blocker, of the policy is top UN Peacekeeper Herve Ladsous. But he has refused all Press questions about how the policy is implemented, which military units his DPKO works with, what it knows of their abuses.

  France is the one which named Ladsous to fill "its" position atop UN Peacekeping -- they might want to ask him to stop undermining or concealing this claimed Human Rights Due Diligence Policy. Watch this site.

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