News / Africa

France Says 1,800 Mauritania Troops Headed to Mali

FILE - French President Francois Hollande, right, and Mauritania's President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, Elysee Palace, Paris, Nov. 20, 2012.
FILE - French President Francois Hollande, right, and Mauritania's President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, Elysee Palace, Paris, Nov. 20, 2012.
Reuters
— Mauritania will send 1,800 troops to Mali as part of a planned U.N. force to keep the peace in the West African nation after a French-led offensive that has ousted Islamist rebels from the desert north, France's foreign minister said on Thursday.
 
Laurent Fabius said a U.N. Security Council resolution to approve the creation of a 12,600-strong U.N. peacekeeping force from July 1 should be approved as soon as next week.
 
That force, expected to be made up primarily of African contingents, will take up the slack as France starts drawing down its 4,000-strong force to just 1,000 by year-end.
 
Mauritania, an Islamic republic which borders Mali to the west, has one of the most effective armies in the region, with experience of battling Islamist fighters in desert terrain but has so far remained aloof from the Malian conflict.
 
"The Mauritanian president on Monday evening told me he was ready ... to send 1,800 troops to this future U.N. contingent," Fabius told the European parliament's foreign affairs committee in Strasbourg. "It's important because Mauritanians are good fighters, have a lot of experience and its geographical location is significant."
 
Fabius made his comments after visiting Mauritania this week. Mauritanian officials declined to comment.
 
France, aided by about 2,400 troops from Chad, began a military offensive in January to drive out Islamist fighters, who had hijacked a revolt by Mali's Tuareg rebels and seized two-thirds of the West African country.
 
Some 6,000 troops from the West African regional force MISMA are also supporting the Malian army but have barely engaged in combat.
 
Chad, whose soldiers are deemed the most battle-hardened in the region, said on Sunday it would also withdraw from Mali, although left open the door to return under a U.N. mandate.
 
France has already said its 1,000 troops would be at the disposal of the Malian government and U.N. peacekeepers to quickly respond against any future militant attacks.
 
"Let's be blunt. We don't want them coming back, so we need to take precautions," Fabius said. "A U.N. peacekeeping force doesn't do that so the French will be there to do that job if necessary."

You May Like

As AIDS Epidemic Matures, Workplaces Adapt

Issue of AIDS in workplace is one of many social issues being discussed at the 20th International Aids Conference in Australia More

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid