News / Africa

ECOWAS Seeks UN Mandate to Deploy Troops

The president of Burkina Faso, Blaise Compaore, speaks during ECOWAS talks on Mali on July 7, 2012, in Ouagadougou.The president of Burkina Faso, Blaise Compaore, speaks during ECOWAS talks on Mali on July 7, 2012, in Ouagadougou.
x
The president of Burkina Faso, Blaise Compaore, speaks during ECOWAS talks on Mali on July 7, 2012, in Ouagadougou.
The president of Burkina Faso, Blaise Compaore, speaks during ECOWAS talks on Mali on July 7, 2012, in Ouagadougou.
Peter Clottey
The Economic Community of West African States is seeking a U.N. Security Council mandate as regional defense chiefs gather to finalize plans to send peacekeeping troops to Mali, where Islamist militants control the north.

The defense chiefs meetings Friday and Saturday are to be held in Ivory Coast’s commercial capital, Abidjan.

"We have always sought U.N. mandate for two basic reasons,” said ECOWAS communications director, Sonny Ugoh. “One, the fact that the environment that we have in the north of Mali requires that mandate. Two, we believe that through that mandate, we should be able to get the international support that will manifest in the area particularly of logistics to support the force, and in order to make it much more robust, and much more effective in dealing with the challenge we have in the north of Mali.”
                  
Some Malians have expressed concern about initial reports of confusion over whether the government had invited ECOWAS to deploy its standby force.

But Ugoh said Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara, who heads the regional bloc, has received an official invitation letter from Mali’s interim President Dioncounda Traoré.

ECOWAS protocol stipulates that a standby force can be deployed after a formal request is made by a member state of the bloc.

Ugoh said the defense chiefs’ meeting forms part of ECOWAS’s effort to end the rebellion in northern Mali.

"The chief of defense staff of member states will finalize the roadmap for a deployment, so that we will be in a position to be ready to deploy as soon as we get the required UN mandate,” Ugoh said.

ECOWAS has said it is ready to deploy a force of about 3,000 troops to northern Mali, where Islamist rebels are trying to impose a harsh form of Sharia, or Islamic law.

The rebels seized control of the area in April after renegade soldiers overthrew the elected government in Bamako.

“The whole idea of this finalization of the roadmap is for the region to be in a position to be able to deploy as expeditiously as possible [and] as soon as this mandate from the U.N. Security Council is [obtained],” said Ugoh.

He admits that both Mali and ECOWAS lost valuable time in resolving the security crisis in the West African country.  Islamist groups reportedly linked to al-Qaida now control about two-thirds of Mali's national territory.

The Islamists, along with Tuareg separatists, seized control of the north in April after the coup in Bamako.  Since then, the militant groups Ansar Dine and MUJAO have pushed out the separatists and moved to enforce a strict version of Islamic law.

“This situation has lingered on for so long and we want to resolve it as quickly as possible. But, we have to make sure that all the prior processes are resolved,” said Ugoh. “And from our point of view, the last requirement is to have the U.N. mandate so that we can deploy under the U.N. umbrella.”

ECOWAS says the first phase of the deployment would provide security for officials and institutions of Mali's transitional government.  It says the second phase calls for ECOWAS to train Mali's army and support its effort to recapture the north.

Clottey interview with Sonny Ugoh, ECOWAS official
Clottey interview with Sonny Ugoh, ECOWAS official i
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

You May Like

Tunnel Bombs Highlight Savagery of Aleppo Fight

Rebels have used tunneling tactic near government buildings, command posts or supply routes to set off explosives; they detonated their largest bomb this week under Syria's intelligence headquarters More

Sierra Leone Launches New Initiative to Stop Ebola Spread

Government hopes Infection and Prevention Control Units, IPC, will help protect patients and healthcare workers More

UN Official: Fight Against Terrorism Must Not Violate Human Rights

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights says efforts by states to combat terrorism are resulting in large scale rights violations against the very citizens they claim to defend More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Daya
September 13, 2012 11:59 PM
Which ECOWAS countries are are to deploy troops in Mali
Hope they have done alot of forward planning also for Zimbabwe when the day comes mmmmmm along with the UN mmmmmmm
and other Countries, you know who I mean?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boyi
X
Jeff Seldin
March 05, 2015 2:36 AM
A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Volunteer Gauge-Watchers Help Fine-Tune Weather Science

An observation system called CoCoRaHS is working to improve weather science, thanks to thousands of volunteers across the country who measure precipitation in their own backyards, then share their data through the Internet. VOA's Shelley Schlender reports.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video African Americans Recall 1960s Fight For Voting Rights

U.S. President Barack Obama and thousands of people will gather in the small southern U.S. city of Selma, Alabama, Saturday, March 7 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a historic voting rights march that became known as “Bloody Sunday." VOA’s Chris Simkins traveled to Alabama and introduces us to some of the foot soldiers of the voting rights struggles of the 1960s.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.

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