News / Europe

US to Help France in Mali

Mali's Foreign Minister Tieman Coulibaly, center, waits for the start of an emergency meeting of EU foreign ministers at the EU Council building in Brussels, Belgium, January 17, 2013.
Mali's Foreign Minister Tieman Coulibaly, center, waits for the start of an emergency meeting of EU foreign ministers at the EU Council building in Brussels, Belgium, January 17, 2013.
VOA News
The United States has agreed to help France airlift troops and equipment into Mali, where Islamist extremists control the north.

France has asked the Pentagon for help and officials from both countries are holding detailed talks on what is needed.  The Pentagon has no plans at this time to send troops into Mali.

French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian says 1,400 troops are now in Mali and that France plans to send in as many as 2,500 soldiers.  He says French forces will stay in Mali until the situation is stable.

West African military chiefs say 2,000 troops from Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Burkina Faso, and Togo will soon arrive in Mali as part of a United Nations authorized force.

Also Thursday, residents fled the Malian town of Diabaly which was seized this week by Islamist extremists.  Witnesses report fighting between French soldiers and militants nearby.

A Malian journalist told VOA correspondent Anne Look that phone lines in Diabaly are dead and that residents have reported Islamists deployed throughout the town.

Al-Qaida-linked Islamic extremists seized control of northern Mali after renegade soldiers toppled the government in March, leaving a temporary power vacuum.  The militants have imposed harsh conservative Islamic law across the north.

France sent troops into Mali at the request of the country's interim government.

African Union Deputy Commissioner Erastus Mwencha told VOA the organization always seeks a peaceful resolution in Mali, but he says there is a need now for a military force.

"We need to send a strong signal to the separatists and the people who are there that the action cannot be tolerated, and we need to eventually get -- our expectation finally is to restore peace to make sure Mali remains as an integral state and that the state is in charge, that Mali is in charge of its own affairs," Mwencha said.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters.

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Sidewinder
January 20, 2013 7:35 AM
All I would say to Aum, is remember Rwanda, Siera Leone and a few other Countries where internecine violence has occurred with numerous lives being lost, people displaced , the economy destroyed and huge numbers of people forced to become refugees. France at least had the courage and initiative to act. Viva La France.

by: Aum
January 18, 2013 9:48 AM
"We need to send a strong signal to the separatists and the people who are there that the action cannot be tolerated, and we need to eventually get -- our expectation finally is to restore peace to make sure Mali remains as an integral state and that the state is in charge, that Mali is in charge of its own affairs,"

funny how that completely contradicts what's going on.
Moreover, americans can't even keep their schools safe and yet here they are in Africa imposing their self-proclaimed righteousness.
france should also learn to stick to their own issues, god knows they got enough going on in europe to stick their noses in a continent they have exploited for hundreds of years.
it's so sad to see Africa is still being treated like a child who can't think or even move on its own, by colonialist powers, and even by other Africans.
In the words of the great Patrice Lumumba

"...it is our poor people for whom independence has been transformed into a cage from whose confines the outside world looks on us, sometimes with kindly sympathy, but at other times with joy and pleasure. But my faith will remain unshakable. I know and I feel in my heart that sooner or later my people will rid themselves of all their enemies, both internal and external, and that they will rise as one man to say No to the degradation and shame of colonialism, and regain their dignity in the clear light of the sun."
In Response

by: Aum
January 18, 2013 3:46 PM
@Richard McCabe
the people of Mali strongly support france and the AU?
I suppose france also cares a lot about Mali, right?
In fact, france cares so much about Mali, that it took it as it's property during the early 1900's, as if Mali, rather Africa, was a piece of god-forsaken land waiting to be taken, piece by piece.
About the AU. Who IS the AU? a useless organization much like the UN whose only purpose is to give diplomats the right to intervene in a country's sovereignty in the name of foreign interests.
About the president of Mali. Do you really think somebody elected by a process that was overseen by blaise compaore is at all qualified to call on foreign support in the name of its own people's well-being?
Who did he run to to make sure he was alright after he was attacked in 2012?
Corruption in African politics is not something new or something unheard of. If so-called diplomats cared one bit about their own people, they would handle their own business and take care of their own before calling on countries who don't give a damn about African people or the way they have lived for centuries because of imperialist and colonialist powers such as france.
My arguments are all proven by history, that is an undeniable fact.
The european union and the u.s have never in their history been interested in the well-being of African people, without putting their own selfish interests first. Those African men who have taken a stand against european intervention have been heartlessly assassinated by those who would rather see a profit from an oppressed Africa, than a free and dignified Africa.
In Response

by: Richard McCabe
January 18, 2013 12:04 PM
The people of Mali strongly support France and the AU, as well as the minor roles by the EU and US. The present government of Mali asked for their assistance. You have no justification for your statement.

by: Thooj Ying from: USA
January 17, 2013 10:03 PM
US needs to help France if France needed. Terrorist is for all who's love peace against them. Thank you for France.

by: michael from: usa
January 17, 2013 9:36 PM
france is fighting the good cause and asking us to suport them,we should help them in this cause.not to do so would be irresponsible.it's my tax money and i say do it.

by: Jim Stack from: Texas
January 17, 2013 9:05 PM
And so it begins. Do not expect war protests against Obama.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs