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Mali FM Denies 2d Coup, Says Sanogo Is Involved, ECOWAS Says Shouldn't Be, Sovereign Decision?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, December 20 -- When is accepting the leader of a coup d'etat a purely internal matter of a sovereign state?

  The question arose Thursday about Mali after the UN Security Council adopted a resolution authorizing a mission to work with the Malian army to re-take the north of the country.

  While Mali was lobbying for the resolution, its prime minister resigned at 4 am Bamako time; UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's meeting with the then-foreign minister was canceled.

  Now the new foreign minister Tieman Coulibaly is in town, and Inner City Press asked him if Captain Amadou Sanogo, who led the earlier coup, is still involved, and why that prime minister resigned at 4 am after being arrested at the airport. Video here from Minute 5:10.

  He was not arrested at the airport, new foreign minister Coulibaly cut in. He said prime minister Diarra -- the brother of a former UN Under Secretary General -- resigned for the good of the country: it "was necessary to move forward, the former prime minister had become a problem for Mali. Satisfied?" Video here from Minute 5:40.

  Moments later Inner City Press asked Cote d'Ivoire Ambassador Bamba, speaking for the West African group ECOWAS, if Sanogo should still be involved. No, Bamba answered.

  The final stakeout of the day, and perhaps year, was by Moroccan Ambassador Loulichki, the President of the Security Council through December 31. Inner City Press asked him about the seeming split between the Malian representative's statement and that of Bamba for ECOWAS: should Sanogo still be involved?

That is a sovereign matter up to the Malians, Loulichki said. So what does it mean when the Security Council calls for the restoration of democracy, or of deposed leaders -- is that an interference with sovereignty. There are double standards, and then triple standards. Watch this site.

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