News / Africa

UN Peacekeepers Begin Mission in Mali

Burkinabe soldiers, part of the MISMA African forces in Mali, receive blue berets to signify the change of mission command to the UN in Timbuktu, June 30, 2013.
Burkinabe soldiers, part of the MISMA African forces in Mali, receive blue berets to signify the change of mission command to the UN in Timbuktu, June 30, 2013.
TEXT SIZE - +
VOA News
A U.N. peacekeeping force has taken over security duties in Mali from an African-led mission, as the country seeks stability ahead of this month's presidential election.
 
In a ceremony Monday, most of the 6,000 African troops became part of the U.N. force, six months after they first deployed to help the Malian army fight Islamist militants who seized control of the country's north.

Head of the U.N. mission to Mali, Bert Koenders, said Monday in Bamako that African troops already on the ground in Mali will have four months to get up to speed on U.N. peacekeeping norms.

Koenders said they will also be trained and equipped for their mission, whose mandate allows for "robust action."

Koenders says the U.N. contingents will gradually deploy to the principal towns in northern Mali where they will patrol alone and alongside the Malian army.  He said the force will work to minimize the risk to civilians.

The U.N. Security Council has authorized a one-year mission with up to 11,200 military personnel and 1,440 international police, making it one of the largest U.N. peacekeeping missions.  Their task is to support Mali's political process and to protect civilians and cultural artifacts while creating conditions necessary for the deployment of humanitarian aid.
 
U.N. peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous visited the city of Timbuktu Sunday ahead of the transfer.  He met with political and religious leaders and toured a UNESCO World Heritage site.
 
Last week, he told the U.N. Security Council that the new mission, called MINUSMA, poses "unique challenges" to peacekeepers because of Mali's climate, infrastructure and the size of the country.
 
Ameerah Haq, the U.N.'s undersecretary-general for field support, said it is one of the most logistically challenging missions the world body has launched.
 
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 helped drive the Islamists from major towns.
 
The U.N. Security Council has authorized Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to request French military intervention if the U.N. troops in Mali are "under imminent and serious threat."

You May Like

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated 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.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid