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

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

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