News / Africa

African Troops in Mali to Become UN 'Blue Helmets'

Soldiers from Burkina Faso stand guard at the airport, in Timbuktu, Mali, May 22, 2013.
Soldiers from Burkina Faso stand guard at the airport, in Timbuktu, Mali, May 22, 2013.
Margaret Besheer
The U.N. Security Council has given the green light for the transition from an African-led support mission in Mali to a full-fledged U.N. peacekeeping force.  

In April, the Security Council authorized the transition from the 6,000-strong African force known as AFISMA, which deployed to Mali in January, to become a U.N. peacekeeping mission on July 1, as long as security conditions are conducive for the transfer of authority.

On Tuesday, British Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant, who chairs the council this month, told reporters that members believe the country is ready for such a mission.
 
“There was unanimous agreement by Security Council members that we should move to the next phase of Mali’s recovery with the deployment of MINUSMA from the first of July," said Lyall Grant.

MINUSMA is the acronym by which the U.N. Stabilization mission is known.

U.N. peacekeeping chief Hervé Ladsous told the council that MINUSMA will be the United Nations' third largest peacekeeping mission once its more than 12,000 military and police personnel are fully deployed by the end of this year.

The bulk of the troops will be based in the north, where armed groups led a rebellion and seized control earlier this year.  MINUSMA will also maintain a limited presence in the capital, Bamako.

Ladsous said MINUSMA will play a key role in the stabilization of Mali and the protection of citizens.  

“Our central priority will be to maintain a seamless continuity between the two operations [AFISMA and MINUSMA] to preserve the security gains made so far and avoid creating any security vacuums whilst supporting elections and the cease-fire agreement," said Ladsous.

Mali is planning presidential elections for July 28.  Ladsous warned that a poorly managed electoral process could further aggravate instability.  He said the mission would provide logistical and technical assistance as well as security arrangements for the vote.

The peacekeeping chief said MINUSMA is still in need of critical equipment such as helicopters, intelligence, information operations and Special Forces.  Some equipment and assets are currently being borrowed from other U.N. missions.

In January, French forces intervened in Mali at the request of the government. They are winding down their operations now and France’s U.N. ambassador, Gérard Araud, told reporters that Paris hopes to have only about 1,000 troops in the country by the end of the year, down from about 3,000 now.

You May Like

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: GKoh
June 25, 2013 6:03 PM
Good call by UNSC on AFISMA's timely transitional mission.

These AFISMA forces are born military type men, willing to serve and willing to do combat if need be, in service.

Now, it would seem to be a prudent and well-calculated time to transition these credible African forces that are contributing to Mali's security mission; over to a justified UN command (continuing the same mission).

Hopefully the members of the United Nations, in this era of collective global growth, will compensate them fairly for their dangerous efforts and sacrifices.

Respects to these guys, wherever their African birthplace. They are true heroes for Africa and help give hope for better, more just and more prosperous African future.

Respects to them and to all children of Africa.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid