News / Africa

Kerry Urges Africans to Take Over Malian Operations

French Foreign Affairs Minister Laurent Fabius (R) listens to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry after a news conference at the ministry in Paris, Feb. 27, 2013.
French Foreign Affairs Minister Laurent Fabius (R) listens to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry after a news conference at the ministry in Paris, Feb. 27, 2013.
Lisa Bryant
During a brief stopover in Paris, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry urged African countries to take over French military operations in Mali as soon as possible, saying it was critical the region find African solutions to its problems.

Kerry praised France's military operation in Mali, a country which, in his words, had been unraveling in a dangerous way. He said the U.S. was providing transportation, intelligence and other support to the French-led offensive against Islamist militants in northern Mali.

At a news conference with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, though, Kerry said neither the United States nor France wanted to remain in the region for the long haul.

"There has to be an African solution, ultimately. And our shared goal now should be that African and U.N. entities step up, so that France has the ability to step back," said Kerry.

Paris has said French forces will remain in Mali as long as necessary. But the government also is pushing for African forces to take over the operation, possibly under an eventual U.N. peacekeeping umbrella.

On Tuesday, French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said French troops were involved in very violent fighting with extremists in northern Mali and it was too early to talk about a quick pullout. The operation has so far cost Paris more than $133 million. French officials also fear for the lives of roughly half a dozen French hostages held in the region.

Fabius described several aspects involved in solving Mali's problems: eradicating terrorist groups, holding democratic elections, having dialogue between the north and the south, and stimulating economic growth. Like Kerry, he said the final answer lay with Mali and its neighbors.

"It is clear that at the end of the day, it belongs to the Malian people and the Africans to take into their own hands their future," said Fabius.

The two men spoke at the end of Kerry's stopover in France, where the new Secretary of State also discussed Syria, Iran, free trade and climate change with top officials, including French President Francois Hollande. Kerry is on a nine-nation tour that takes him next to Italy.

You May Like

Disappointing Report on China's Economy Shakes Markets

In London and New York shares lost 3 percent, while Paris and Germany dropped around 2.4 percent More

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations 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.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs