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UN OKs Peacekeepers for Mali



The United Nations Security Council has unanimously approved a resolution establishing a peacekeeping force in Mali.

The resolution authorizes a one-year mission with up to 11,200 military personnel and 1,440 international police.

U.N. peacekeepers are expected to take over security duties from the 6,000-member African-led force now in Mali by July 1, but the date is subject to review. Many of the African troops will become part of the U.N. mission.

Mali plunged into chaos last year when soldiers overthrew the government, allowing ethnic Tuaregs and later al-Qaida-linked militants to take over the north. French and African troops have helped drive the Islamists from major towns, but attacks continue.



Diplomats say the U.N. force in Mali will not be expected to perform counterterrorism duties. The troops' mission is seen as stabilizing cities in the north, supporting a political transition throughout Mali and protecting human rights.

The resolution also gives U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon the ability to request French military intervention if U.N. troops in Mali are "under imminent and serious threat."

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