Wednesday, July 26, 2017

On Mali, ICP Asks UN of Guterres Saying German Copter Down, Spox Says Yes, Monitoring Fighting

By Matthew Russell Lee, Series

UNITED NATIONS, July 26 – While the UN's Mali envoy told UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres that only two percent of the UN's uniformed personnel in the country are women, Guterres said as an aside that he had just heard that two Germany helicopters had crashed in Mali. But Guterres' Spokesman Farhan Haq did not announce it, even at the beginning of his noon briefing. Inner City Press who based on an ASG's tweet covered the meeting in which Guterres mentioned the crash asked Haq to confirm. Haq replied that a copter monitoring fighting on the ground went down; he would not confirm that it was German. We'll have more on this. France's stealth diplomacy of briefing non-critical reporters about its colonial plans in Africa, then getting others to parrot and defend the plans, continued. On June 21, after a watered down G5 Sahel resolution was adopted by the Security Council, Inner City Press asked the Ambassador of Mali if the fact that it is not only Chapter 7 of the UN Charter means the force could not pursue terrorist beyond the borders of the five countries. He replies that the joint forces could move around inside the five; he said funding by the European Union is expected. Periscope video here.France passes on the bill. On June 16 after questioning Mali's Foreign Minister, Inner City Press asked the UN's French spokesman Stephane Dujarric, UN transcript here: Inner City Press: On Mali, there's been this kind of roundabout on this held G5 draft where the French ambassador says repeatedly, it will be up to the Secretary-General, if and when it's passed, to recommend whether they'll… assessed contributions should be used for the… for the force.  Since this seems to be a holdup in it… and I'm wondering, has the Secretary-General had any communications with either the five G5 countries or France about recommending funding for the force?  And what's his position on it?

Spokesman:  We're very much aware this is… the resolution itself is being debated in the Security Council.  We're not going to get in the middle of it.  We will, as always, follow the mandate that is given to us once the Security Council resolution has been passed.  The Secretary-General has always supported a coordinated approach to this issue by the G5 countries.  He's said so in the past.  The details of the resolution are being hammered out by the Member States.  As I said, we're not going to get in the middle of the details of the resolutions.  Once it's passed, we'll, obviously, follow the mandate.

Inner City Press: Right.  But I mean, the… the… what the Secretary-General will… recommends is actually one of the issues in the negotiations.  So, I'm just wondering, is he part of the negotiation?

Spokesman:  The negotiations are being done within the Security Council.

  Ah, leadership and transparency - not. On June 8, Inner City Press publicly asked questions on the topic, to which Ambassador Francois Delattre said that the Secretary General Antonio Guterres must make proposals. Video here. The French Mission cut the question, and answer, from its transcript - even as later derivative stories noted US push back to using UN general funds for France's idea. Whom does censorship serve?