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

    Vietnam Mulls Tough Measures for ‘Misbehaving’ Chinese Tourists

    Move comes after footage surfaced online of Chinese travelers harassing a banana hawker in Da Nang

    Pakistan Social Media Star's Honor Killing Fuels Debate

    Qandeel Baloch's murder puts spotlight on deadly tradition and other mistreatment of women

    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.

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Borderi
    X
    July 22, 2016 12:30 AM
    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.
    Video

    Video Number of Syrian Refugees Arriving in US Jumps

    The United States is committed to resettling 85,000 refugees from around the world by October. Of that number, 10,000 will come from Syria and already some 4,000 Syrian refugees have arrived in the United States, many of them settling in the state of Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from Chicago, their arrival is not the end of a difficult journey to find peace and stability.
    Video

    Video Rio’s Trams Await Olympic Tourists

    Over the past century, many cities around the world replaced electric trams, prone to breakdowns and backups, with faster and more spacious buses. But for some reason restored antique trams are a huge tourist attraction. So it’s no wonder the authorities in Rio de Janeiro are busy restoring their city’s old tram line ahead of the Summer Olympic Games. VOA’ George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora