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

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age 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.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
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 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 Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
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 Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
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 Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
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.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs