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.
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

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month 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.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid