News / Africa

UN Considers Mali Stabilization Mission

A French soldier stands guard in an armoured vehicle in the Terz valley, about 60 km (37 miles) south of the town of Tessalit in northern Mali March 21, 2013.
A French soldier stands guard in an armoured vehicle in the Terz valley, about 60 km (37 miles) south of the town of Tessalit in northern Mali March 21, 2013.
Margaret Besheer
— The U.N. Security Council held initial discussions Wednesday about options for a peacekeeping force in Mali after France withdraws its troops.   
 
In January, Malian authorities asked France to intervene to stop Islamist militants who had taken over the north of the country from seizing the southern capital, Bamako. France’s military operation is expected to wind down soon and the United Nations is planning for the next phase in stabilizing the Sahel country.  
 
On Tuesday, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon sent a report to the 15-nation Security Council with two possible options for forces in Mali. 
 
French Ambassador Gérard Araud told reporters Wednesday that the council began preliminary discussions on the U.N. chief's recommendations. 
 
“I think coming out of this meeting, I think there’s a sort of, on one side, the consensus of the idea of going towards a peacekeeping operation, a stabilization operation, in Mali. But there are a lot of questions of course, and legitimate questions, so we will have to discuss it," he said.
 
The secretary-general proposed two options for Mali in his report. In the first option, things remain largely the same, with the African-led stabilization force known as AFISMA, currently at around 7,000 troops, remaining in the country, but becoming linked to the U.N. and getting the funding for its mission from the U.N. budget.
 
The second option, which diplomats say is the more likely path, would be to transition most of the AFISMA troops into a U.N. peacekeeping force while increasing its troop numbers to about 11,200. Alongside it a parallel force would be created to conduct counter-terrorism operations. 
 
Diplomats say France is the most obvious choice to supply troops for the parallel force, but Ambassador Araud said it is still too early in discussions to say whether or how France might contribute to such a force. 
 
He did say France would begin drawing down its 4,000 troops in the coming days. “We are downsizing our forces, and as I have said, we are not going to rush out, but we want to leave as quickly as possible," he said. 
 
France will take the lead inside the Security Council in drafting the resolution on establishing the U.N. mission. The ambassador said the council will meet again next Tuesday (April 2) for a more in-depth discussion and he hopes a vote can be held sometime in April.

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid