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For Drones in Mali, UN Says Ladsous Mentioning to UNSC Is Enough

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, June 19 -- To deploy drones to Mali, UN Deputy Spokesperson Farhan Haq told Inner City Press on May 5, "any further deployment of that would require the Security Council consideration."

  When Inner City Press asked UN Peacekeeping's Herve Ladsous, who is already procuring drones to be based in Mali, to explain how he would seek approval, he refused to answer, saying "You know I don't respond to you, Mister." Video here.

  On July 19 UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric told Inner City Press that be merely mentioning drones in his statement to the Security Council on May 18, Ladsous had gotten approval.

  What kind of Organization is this?

On June 18, the unquestioning scribes at US Voice of America "reported" without any analysis that Ladsous is now going to use drones in Mali. What about what the UN itself said on May 5?

  Ladsous has, ever since questioned on drones (and his record as French deputy ambassador during the Rwanda genocide in 1994) sought out only friendly scribes, even taking this in the hallway with him, video here. Through the old UN Correspondents Association, an attempt was made to get Inner City Press to change its reporting on Ladsous.This is the UN's Censorship Alliance.

And at the June 19 briefing, UNCA head Pamela Falk assumed she'd get the first set-aside question without even raising her hand. Then she said to another, "You can do it, as vice president." IT is branding the briefing as UNCA. For what?

Background: When UN Peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous pushed through his proposal to use drones or “unmanned unarmed aerial vehicles” in Eastern Congo, he said that it was a pilot and that any further use would require another approval.

  One of the places Ladsous said he wanted to use drones was former French colony Cote d'Ivoire.  Now in an advance copy of Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's report on Ivory Coast, to be issued as a document of the Security Council under the symbol S/2014/342, Ban says a Ivorian "government minister advised that the deployment of unmanned aerial vehicles in Cote d'Ivoire may no longer be necessary."

  But don't tell Ladsous -- on May 5, Inner City Press asked UN deputy spokesperson Farhan Haq about Ladsous pitching drones in the Central African Republic -- and now Inner City Press reports that Mali has arisen as well, and "any [UN] peacekeeping mission."

From the UN's May 5 transcript:

Inner City Press: while Under-Secretary-General Ladsous was in Bangui, he gave a press conference and he discussed the use of unmanned/unarmed aerial vehicles or drones in the CAR ( Central African Republic). So, I wanted to know, is it the UN’s position that the current MINUSCA (United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic) resolution would permit use of drones or is this something that they would have to come back to the Security Council or some other organ of the United Nations to get approval for?

Deputy Spokesman Haq: I believe that the current resolution does not mention unmanned aerial vehicle, so any further deployment of that would require the Security Council consideration as far as I’m aware.

  But the UN at Ladsous' direction has been soliciting expressions of interest, until today, for drones or UAVs initially for use in northern Mali, where Ladsous' native France has an UNdisclosed letter of assist under which other UN member states will be paying it for airfield services.

  (Outgoing French Ambassador Gerard Araud in December, his last Council presidency, refused to substantively answer Inner City Press' questions about the letter of assist, and now doesn't answer Press questions at all.)


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