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

Brutality Eroding IS Financial Support

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper says IS's penchant for publicizing beheadings, other brutal forms of punishment hurts group’s bottom line More

Studies: Climate Change a Factor in Disasters in Syria, California

The studies point to the possibility of clear and present dangers from a threat often considered to be far in the future More

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials and human rights organizations assert that Pakistani authorities are using deadly attack at school in Peshawar as pretext to push out Afghan refugees 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.
Kerry Seeks Assurances of Russian Non-Interference in Ukrainei
X
March 03, 2015 3:11 AM
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that his country could face further consequences to what he called its “already strained economy” if Moscow does not fully comply with a cease-fire in Ukraine. The two met, on Monday, on the sidelines of a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, where Kerry outlined human rights violations in Russian-annexed Crimea and eastern Ukraine. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports from Geneva.
Video

Video Kerry Seeks Assurances of Russian Non-Interference in Ukraine

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that his country could face further consequences to what he called its “already strained economy” if Moscow does not fully comply with a cease-fire in Ukraine. The two met, on Monday, on the sidelines of a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, where Kerry outlined human rights violations in Russian-annexed Crimea and eastern Ukraine. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports from Geneva.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Prepare to Defend Mariupol

Despite the ongoing ceasefire in Ukraine, soldiers in the city of Mariupol fear that pro-Russian separatists may be getting ready to attack. The separatists must take or encircle the city if they wish to gain land access to Crimea, which was annexed by Russia early last year. But Ukrainian forces, many of them volunteers, say they are determined to defend it. Patrick Wells reports from Mariupol.
Video

Video Moscow Restaurants Suffer in Bad Economy, Look for Opportunity

As low oil prices and Western sanctions force Russia's economy into recession, thousands of Moscow restaurants are expected to close their doors. Restaurant owners face rents tied to foreign currency, while rising food prices mean Russians are spending less when they dine out. One entrepreneur in Moscow has started a dinner kit delivery service for those who want to cook at home to save money but not skimp on quality. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video US, Cuba Report Progress in Latest Talks to Restore Ties

The United States and Cuba say they have made progress in the second round of talks on restoring diplomatic relations more than 50 years after breaking off ties. Delegations from both sides met in Washington on Friday to work on opening embassies in Havana and Washington and iron out key obstacles to historic change. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas reports from the State Department.
Video

Video Presidential Hopefuls Battle for Conservative Hearts and Minds

One after another, presumptive Republican presidential contenders auditioned for conservative support this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference held outside Washington. The rhetoric was tough as a large field of potential candidates tried to woo conservative support with red-meat attacks on President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress. VOA Political Columnist Jim Malone takes a look.
Video

Video NYC's Restaurant Week: An Economic Boom in Fine Dining

New Yorkers take pride in setting world trends — in fashion, the arts and fine dining. The city’s famous biannual Restaurant Week plays a significant role in a booming tourism industry that sustains 359,000 jobs and generates $61 billion in yearly revenue. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports.
Video

Video Brookhaven at Cutting Edge of US Energy Research

Issues like the Keystone XL pipeline, fracking and instability in the Middle East are driving debate in the U.S. about making America energy independent. Recently, the American Energy Innovation Council urged Congress and the White House to make expanded energy research a priority. One beneficiary of increased energy spending would be the Brookhaven National Lab, where clean, renewable, efficient energy is the goal. VOA's Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Southern US Cities Preserve Civil Rights Heritage to Boost Tourism

There has been a surge of interest in the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s, thanks in part to the Hollywood motion picture "Selma." Five decades later, communities in the South are embracing the dark chapters of their past with hopes of luring tourism dollars. VOA's Chris Simkins reports.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More