News / Africa

EU, African Officials Meet on Mali

Mali's Foreign Minister Tieman Hubert Coulibaly addresses a news conference after a ministerial meeting in support of Mali at the EU Council in Brussels, February 5, 2013.
Mali's Foreign Minister Tieman Hubert Coulibaly addresses a news conference after a ministerial meeting in support of Mali at the EU Council in Brussels, February 5, 2013.
Lisa Bryant
As Chadian troops helped secure a strategic desert town in Mali, representatives of European and African nations meeting in Brussels Tuesday discussed the possibility of creating an international force to help stabilize the West African country.  

Officials said that any decision on turning a West African military mission to stabilize Mali into an international one must be approved by the United Nations and the Malian government.

But Kadre Desire Ouedraogo, who heads the Economic Community of West African States or ECOWAS Commission, suggested it was a viable option.

At a news conference, Ouedraogo said the problems in Mali are not just a question of national or regional security, but of international security.  He said the international community must make sure northern Mali should not be used as a sanctuary for terrorists and narcotraffickers.

His remarks followed talks among EU, African and United Nations representatives on how to coordinate efforts to help stabilize Mali following the Islamist militant insurgency and political turmoil.  Mali's government has promised to abide by a roadmap that includes holding democratic elections.

FILE - EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton holds a news conference, January 17, 2013.FILE - EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton holds a news conference, January 17, 2013.
x
FILE - EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton holds a news conference, January 17, 2013.
FILE - EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton holds a news conference, January 17, 2013.
European Union Foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said Europe is already beginning to make good on its pledge to help train Mali's military - and is designating more than $400 million in assistance this year for the troubled West African country.

"All of us are committed to supporting and accompanying the people of Mali on their path back to freedom and development," she said. "And in that context, we support the adoption of the roadmap."

So far, France is the only Western country to send combat forces to Mali.  The French offensive that has beaten back the Islamists has drawn praise not only from Africans, but Western leaders - including U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, who met Monday with French President Francois Hollande in Paris.

"Your decisive action is not only in the interest of France but quite frankly of the United States and everyone," he said.

France has also increased security at home, fearing retribution.  On Tuesday, French police arrested four suspected Islamists outside Paris as part of a probe into the recruitment of volunteers to join al-Qaida-linked rebels in the Sahel.

You May Like

Mood Tense Ahead of Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, No voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve and do not want to take a risk by endorsing independence More

South Africa’s 'Open Mosque' Admits Everyone, Including Critics

Open Mosque founder plans to welcome gay worshipers and allow women to lead prayers More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid