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.
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 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.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid