News / Africa

Mali President Seeks French Help Against Militant Advance

Women hold banners urging national talks to end the political paralysis in the south of Mali, in the capital Bamako, January 10, 2013.Women hold banners urging national talks to end the political paralysis in the south of Mali, in the capital Bamako, January 10, 2013.
x
Women hold banners urging national talks to end the political paralysis in the south of Mali, in the capital Bamako, January 10, 2013.
Women hold banners urging national talks to end the political paralysis in the south of Mali, in the capital Bamako, January 10, 2013.
VOA News
Mali's interim president, Dioncounda Traore, has asked France for help to counter a military advance by radical Islamist forces pushing south toward the capital.

France's United Nations ambassador Gerard Araud disclosed the request late Thursday, following an emergency session of the U.N. Security Council called by France to address the Malian crisis.  Araud said the request for help came in a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and a similar letter to French President Francois Hollande.

Araud said the French president will respond on Friday.

The Council session came just hours after Islamist militants seized the town of Konna,  more than 400 kilometers northeast of the capital, Bamako, from government troops.

The militant group Ansar Dine said its fighters took control of Konna Thursday morning -- a move that residents later confirmed with VOA's French to Africa Service.  The takeover places the militant force within about 25 kilometers of the major government frontline town of Mopti.  

As tensions mount, the Bamako government ordered all schools closed in the capital and the nearby garrison town of Kati until further notice.  The order, which covers kindergarten through university, came as state television broadcast a statement saying in part that the country faces "one of direst periods in its history."  It urged all citizens "to unite behind the army in the fight to take back the north."

Talks scheduled for Thursday between Mali's government and the armed groups in the north have been postponed in the wake of the fighting.

Last month, the U.N. Security Council approved a plan for West African states to deploy at least 3,000 troops to Mali to help train the army and retake the north.

Al-Qaida-linked groups took control of Mali's north soon after renegade soldiers overthrew the government last March.

Prodi has said he foresees no foreign troops in Mali until September of this year, but the Malian government says it wants the intervention to happen as soon as possible.

You May Like

Ukraine Purges Interior Ministry Leadership With Pro-Russian Ties

Interior Minister Avakov says 91 people 'in positions of leadership' have been fired, including 8 generals found to have links to past pro-Moscow governments More

US Airlines Point to Additional Problems of any Ebola Travel Ban

Airline officials note that even under travel ban, they may not be able to determine where passenger set out from, as there are no direct flights from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone More

Nigerian President to Seek Another Term

Goodluck Jonathan has faced intense criticism for failing to stop Boko Haram militants 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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid