News / Africa

Mali, ECOWAS, AU Urge UN to Send Force to Mali

People load on onto a truck carrying residents fleeing south from an Islamic insurgency in northern Mali at the trading town of Mopti, June 19, 2012.People load on onto a truck carrying residents fleeing south from an Islamic insurgency in northern Mali at the trading town of Mopti, June 19, 2012.
x
People load on onto a truck carrying residents fleeing south from an Islamic insurgency in northern Mali at the trading town of Mopti, June 19, 2012.
People load on onto a truck carrying residents fleeing south from an Islamic insurgency in northern Mali at the trading town of Mopti, June 19, 2012.
Margaret Besheer
— Malian authorities and African regional organizations are urging the U.N. Security Council to approve the deployment of a 3,300-member African-led force to help recapture northern Mali, which is ruled by Islamist militants.

Mali’s minister of African integration, Traore Rokiatou Guikine, urged the 15-nation Security Council to act quickly to spare Mali and the region from what she said would be a “catastrophic upheaval of security."

“The terrorists have stepped up their activities and are seeking reinforcements to carry out Jihad from Mali," Guikine said. "So Mali is on the way to becoming a breeding ground for terrorism in the West African region, in Africa, and the entire world.”

Her concerns were echoed at Wednesday's meeting by representatives from the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States, or ECOWAS.

ECOWAS support

President of the ECOWAS Commission, Kadre Desire Ouedraogo, told the Council that political dialogue must be combined with the military option to help the government regain Mali’s territorial integrity, dismantle terrorist networks and restore the state’s authority.

“Non-intervention in northern Mali, or any retreat in view of the urgent need to send a force, could further worsen the security and humanitarian situation which are already grounds for concern," said Ouedraogo. "And notably, this could encourage the further entrenchment of terrorist groups and criminal groups, with serious consequences for regional and international security.”

The African Union has endorsed the Malian government's request for an African-led international support mission, to be known by the acronym AFISMA. Mali and ECOWAS are seeking an initial authorization period of one year. While the troops would be African, it is not yet clear where the funding for the force would come from.

Mission funding

African Union U.N. Ambassador Antonio Tete asked the council to put in place a U.N. support package funded through U.N. member state contributions to finance the mission.

“Mali is at a crossroads. Time is of the essence. We need to act fast and to send a clear and strong message on the resolve of the international community and its support to the African-led efforts,” said Tete.

The U.N. Security Council asked Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to make recommendations regarding the possible deployment of an international force to Mali. In his report, circulated to the council last week, he said the crisis is a multi-dimensional one, comprising political, security, humanitarian and human rights elements that need to be viewed in the larger context of a suffering Sahel region.

Ban won't commit

Ban was only lukewarm on the possibility of a military mission, saying it may be required as a “last resort” to deal with the most hardline extremist and criminal elements in the north. But he cautioned that before that stage is reached, the focus must be on initiating a broad-based and inclusive political dialogue, aimed at forming a road map for transition.

France is taking the lead on drafting a resolution that would take the secretary-general’s concerns into account, emphasizing a political settlement, while the military aspect would emphasize regaining territory lost in the north.

French Ambassador Gérard Araud said he expects adoption of the resolution before the end of this year.

You May Like

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment 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.
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