News / Africa

UN: Recent Security Incidents in Mali ‘Wake-up Call’

Troops of the French-led Serval Operation in Mali patrol an area in Gao, Oct.16, 2013.
Troops of the French-led Serval Operation in Mali patrol an area in Gao, Oct.16, 2013.
Margaret Besheer
The head of the U.N. mission in Mali said recent security incidents are an “important wake-up call” and urged the Security Council to enable the rapid deployment of additional troops and helicopters to the mission.

Bert Koenders welcomed progress in Mali, including recent presidential elections and moves toward national reconciliation talks, but said serious threats to peace and security remain, including recent attacks by al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and the militant group MUJAO.

“In addition to the security threat from the armed groups and terrorists which mainly affected the northern regions, the authorities had to contend with tensions within the armed forces,” said Koenders.

He said an incident earlier this month involving about 30 disgruntled soldiers who kidnapped two officers was peacefully resolved, but is a reminder of the urgent need for reestablishing discipline and the chain-of-command in the army.

The U.N. stabilization mission in Mali began on July 1, taking over and absorbing troops from an African-led force.

A recent report by the U.N. Secretary-General said mission, known as MINUSMA, has just over 5,200 troops. That is less than half of the 12,600 troops authorized by the Security Council.

The report also says at least two more infantry battalions and a special forces company are needed, as well as military helicopters.  Without these assets, the Secretary-General said, he expects it will take longer for the force to reach full operational capability.

Mission chief Koenders echoed this request in his remarks to the council. “I call on the members of this council, and troop and police contributing countries, to do their utmost to enable the rapid deployment of additional enablers and battalions to Mali in order for MINUSMA to effectively and timely discharge its mandate,” he said.

Mali’s minister of national reconciliation and development of the northern regions, Cheick Oumar Diarrah, told the Council that Mali is now on the path toward building rule of law and fighting corruption and impunity.  But he warned that terrorists, armed groups, jihadists and organized criminal gangs are a threat to the fragile peace and stability in the north and to the entire Sahel region.

Both the Malian minister and Koenders drew attention to the worrying humanitarian situation.  There are still hundreds of thousands of refugees and displaced persons who fled their homes in the north where armed groups seized control for several months last year.  

The United Nations warns 3.5 million people are food insecure in the country and a humanitarian appeal is less than half-funded, with a $300 million shortfall.

You May Like

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid