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

Ukraine President Appeals for More US Support

Speaking before Congress ahead of meeting with President Obama, Petro Poroshenko urges lawmakers to back Ukraine in its quest for freedom and democracy More

Photogallery Global Audience Watches as Scots Go to the Polls

People were almost equally divided over a vote for independence, watched closely by Britain's allies, investors and restive regions at home and abroad More

China to Invest $20B in India Amid Border Dispute

Border spat between armies of two countries in Himalayas underlines mutual tensions despite growing commercial ties highlighted by Xi Jinping's high-profile visit 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