News / Africa

UN: Military Operation May Be Needed In Mali

Jan Eliasson of Sweden, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Darfur, speaks during a press briefing about the Consultation on Darfur at the United Nations building in Geneva, Switzerland, Thursday, June 5, 2008.Jan Eliasson of Sweden, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Darfur, speaks during a press briefing about the Consultation on Darfur at the United Nations building in Geneva, Switzerland, Thursday, June 5, 2008.
x
Jan Eliasson of Sweden, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Darfur, speaks during a press briefing about the Consultation on Darfur at the United Nations building in Geneva, Switzerland, Thursday, June 5, 2008.
Jan Eliasson of Sweden, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Darfur, speaks during a press briefing about the Consultation on Darfur at the United Nations building in Geneva, Switzerland, Thursday, June 5, 2008.
Lisa Schlein
A senior U.N. official says the United Nations and several African organizations agree that military action may be necessary to re-establish constitutional order and national unity in Mali.  U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson has just returned from several days of discussions in Mali on political and military options for dislodging Islamist extremists who control the country's north.  

U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson says there was unity among all the parties present in the Mali discussions in planning for a political process and for a military operation if necessary.  He says there was no dissenting voice.   

"On the first point, there is a hope that there are groups in the North of Mali who would want to distance themselves from the extremist and terrorist groups and by that, isolate those groups," said Eliasson. "We hope that such a process is going on.  The second element is an element, which is related to the Security Council Resolution 2071, which was adopted in New York on 12 October, which authorizes the United Nations to help in the political process but also to help in the planning for a possible military mission."   

Eliasson met with representatives of the African Union, ECOWAS, and the sub-regional organization in the Malian capital Bamako.  He says it is important that the meeting took place in Mali because it allowed the Malian authorities to participate in the discussions and enabled the people affected by the extremist takeover of the north to watch what was happening.

The deputy secretary-general says the ongoing crisis in Mali cannot be divorced from the grave humanitarian situation affecting the entire Sahel region, where an estimated 18 million people are at risk, including one million children threatened with malnutrition and hunger.  

He says the United Nations has a strong team working both on the political front and on the military planning in Mali.  He says the U.N. Security Council will receive the Secretary-General's report on the crisis in Mali in about 35 days.  Then, he says it will be up to the Council to decide whether to go ahead with a military operation.    

"It is a very important situation, a situation that has ramifications not only for Mali but also for the region obviously," said Eliasson. "There is a grave humanitarian aspect to the situation, also if there were to be a military operation, and of course you do not know what ramifications these developments will have on neighboring states.  So it certainly is logical that the Security Council is involved in an issue which has such important security ramifications for the region and the world."   

Turning to another turbulent part of the world, Eliasson says he hopes the warring factions in Syria will agree to stop fighting during the four-day Eid al-Adha Muslim holiday.  He says this cease-fire, which was proposed by U.N Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and subsequently followed up by the special envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, is an opportunity not to be missed.  

He says a truce could reduce the level of violence and create a climate in which political progress can be made.  He appeals to the members of the Security Council to show unity and to come up with a plan that can bring about the end of the violence, which already has claimed more than 30,000 lives.

You May Like

Multimedia Obama Defends Immigration Action

Obama says with his executive action on immigration, enforcement resources will be focused on 'felons, not families; criminals, not children' More

US-Led Airstrikes in Syria Kill Over 900: Monitoring Group

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the toll includes more than 50 civilians, five of them women and eight of them children More

Report: Obama Broadens US Combat Role in Afghanistan

The New York Times says resident Barack Obama has signed a classified order extending the role of US troops in Afghanistan for another year More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid