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Obama Didn't Raise Sierra Leone Ousting UN Envoy, Malawi's DRC Roles

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, March 29 -- After a staged Washington whirlwind of the leaders of Sierra Leone, Cape Verde, Malawi and Senegal this week, on Friday US National Security Staff Senior Director for African Affairs Grant Harris took press questions about the visits.

  Inner City Press asked, regarding Sierra Leone, what the Obama administration thought of Ernest Bai Koroma having thrown UN envoy Michael von der Schulenburg out of the country as an “obstacle” to his re-election.

  No, Grant Harris answered, that did not come up. At the UN, even UK Permanent Representative Mark Lyall Grant told Inner City Press it was troubling.

  But the US wants friends or partners in Africa, for example talking up Senegal's role in Mali -- where apparently the real muscle with be a French “parallel force” which French Ambassador Gerard Araud this week would not or could not tell Inner City Press would be under any UN control.

  Inner City Press also asked Grant Harris if Joyce Banda's talks, including with Defense Secretary Chuck Hegel, had touched on Malawi's role as one of three brigade contributors to the Democratic Republic of Congo “intervention brigade” approved by the UN Security Council on March 28.

  It didn't come up in that level of specificity, Grant Harris replied. But did it come up even at all? Watch this site.

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