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As France Calls Meeting on Mali, Its Pen-Holding Hasn't Worked, Prodi in Bamako

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, January 10 -- In mid December on Mali, at the UN the French Mission bragged how they would get the resolution they drafted adopted by the Security Council.

   France took the lead in drafting the resolution because they "hold the pen" for the Council on Mali, as they hold it on the Democratic Republic of Congo and former colonies Cote d'Ivoire and Central African Republic.

   But now that things have gotten even worse in Mali, with rebels reacting to empty saber rattling by taking over Konna, should France still have the pen?

   The French Mission to the UN loudly called for another Security Council meeting on Thursday, and scheduled it for 6 pm.

  Then, they described the topic as "the sitution in Mali, following terrorist offensive from the North." But there were reports of the Malian Army attacking first this time, along with chartered aircraft piloted by non-Malians. Could these be mercenaries?

  Earlier on Thursday, when Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesman was asked a softball question, it allowed him to recite that UN envoy Romano Prodi, based out of Italy but paid the full time salary of a UN Under Secretary General, is today in Bamako. To what end?

   After the French drafted resolution passed on December 20, Mali's foreign minister Tieman Coulibaly came to the stakeout 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.  This is where thing stand on Mali. Watch this site.

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