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.
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Multimedia Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

46 people are confirmed dead, but some 250 remain trapped inside sunken ferry More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends 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.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid