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

Multimedia Ferguson, Missouri Streets Calm After Days of Violence

Police official says authorities responded to fewer incidents, noting there were no shootings, Molotov cocktails or fires More

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

For Chanthy Sok, rap infused with Cambodian melodies is a way to pay respect to the survivors of the victims of Khmer Rouge genocide More

Study: Our Life with Neanderthals Was No Brief Affair

Scientists discover thousands of years of overlap between modern humans and their shorter, stockier cousins 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.
African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebolai
X
George Putic
August 20, 2014 8:57 PM
While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls for Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid