News / Africa

Niger's President Backs Mali Intervention

Members of a Malian pro-government militia operating in government-controlled areas take part in a training session at their base in Sevare, about 600 kilometers northeast of the capital Bamako, Mali, November 12, 2012.Members of a Malian pro-government militia operating in government-controlled areas take part in a training session at their base in Sevare, about 600 kilometers northeast of the capital Bamako, Mali, November 12, 2012.
x
Members of a Malian pro-government militia operating in government-controlled areas take part in a training session at their base in Sevare, about 600 kilometers northeast of the capital Bamako, Mali, November 12, 2012.
Members of a Malian pro-government militia operating in government-controlled areas take part in a training session at their base in Sevare, about 600 kilometers northeast of the capital Bamako, Mali, November 12, 2012.
TEXT SIZE - +
Anne Look
— The crisis in northern Mali could enter a new chapter this week. Malian officials are expected to meet with delegations from two of the armed groups in the north, while the U.N. Security Council plans to consider a plan for regional military intervention to Mali.

West Africa leaders continue their "carrot-and-stick" approach against the armed groups, who seized control of Mali's three northern regions in April, just days after a military coup.

Mali's foreign minister is in Ouagadougou where Malian officials are expected to meet with delegations from two of the armed groups, the ones that are Malian-led - the Islamist sect Ansar Dine and Tuareg separatist movement the MNLA.

Map of MaliMap of Mali
x
Map of Mali
Map of Mali
It will be the first direct and official talks between Malian authorities and armed groups since the start of the crisis. The groups have agreed to ECOWAS-mediated negotiations to find a peaceful solution to the crisis.

But many believe that force still will be necessary against foreign fighters affiliated with al-Qaida's North Africa branch, known as al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb.

UN considers action

On Wednesday, the U.N. Security Council is expected to consider plans from the African Union and ECOWAS to raise a regional force of 3,300 soldiers to help the Malian army retake the north. African leaders want a U.N. intervention mandate.

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has endorsed a one-year A.U. mission to Mali. But in his report last week, he said African leaders first need to work out additional logistics for the mission and that force should remain a "last resort."

Mali interim President Diouncounda Traore met Sunday with Niger President Mahamadou Issoufou in Niamey. Issoufou is a staunch supporter of military action. He told reporters that African countries must act quickly.

Seeking military intervention

The president said the people in northern Mali suffering abuses at the hands of these groups need to be liberated. He says if terrorists are allowed to dig in in northern Mali, they are going to attack neighboring countries.  He says ECOWAS carefully considered its operational plans for Mali and has the support of the African Union.  Mr. Issoufou says he is confident the U.N. Security Council will endorse the plan, regardless of the secretary-general's report.

Niger is among the West African countries that have pledged to contribute soldiers to the intervention force.

The U.N. Security Council could issue a mandate for the force before the end of the year, though regional observers say any offensive to the north is unlikely before the second half of 2013.

Malian President Traore said they will not wait that long. He said this problem poses a threat to global security. He said he does not think they will wait until September or October to act. And by "they," he says he does not mean just Mali and Niger, or just ECOWAS, or even just Africa. He said the entire world has spoken out in support of restoring Mali's territorial integrity, preserving its democracy and its secular nature. But, he said, the entire world also has said it must wipe out terrorism and organized crime.

You May Like

Photogallery Pope's Easter Prayer: Peace in Ukraine, Syria

Pontiff also calls for end to terrorist acts in Nigeria, violence in Iraq, and success in peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians More

Abdullah Holds Lead in Afghan Presidential Election

Country's Election Commission says that with half of the ballots counted, former FM remains in the lead with 44 percent of the vote More

Russia-Ukraine Crisis Could Trigger Cyber War

As tensions between Kyiv and Moscow escalate, so too has frequency of online attacks targeting government, news and financial sites 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