News

    UN Holds Urgent Talks on Mali Crisis

    Malians queue to withdraw money from a bank in the capital Bamako, April 3, 2012.
    Malians queue to withdraw money from a bank in the capital Bamako, April 3, 2012.

    The United Nations Security Council is holding an emergency meeting on Mali Tuesday, as military coup leaders remain in power and West African nations levy diplomatic and financial sanctions on the country.

    Leaders from the Economic Community of West African States, or ECOWAS, decided Monday to close all borders between Mali and member states, and cut off the currency flow to the country, which relies on the region's central bank.


    On Tuesday, long lines formed at gas stations in the capital, Bamako, where many residents turned up with jerrycans and plastic jugs. Many said they are stockpiling fuel because they are worried the country will soon run out.

    Former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo said he is confident ECOWAS can resolve the crisis. The group should encourage soldiers to return to their barracks, followed by a transition to elections and a return to democracy, said Obasanjo.

    "We have to acknowledge what you may call legitimate complaints of the military, that they were given [a] task without adequate tools to perform the task," he said. "I think our leaders having acknowledged that legitimate situation that you found yourself, but the way you've gone about it is not the right way, and that way is not acceptable."

    Photo Gallery

    Soldiers seized power from President Amadou Toumani Toure on March 22, accusing him of failing to provide the army with enough resources to stop Tuareg rebels in the north.

    Rebels launched an offensive on Friday and rapidly seized three key cities that were still under army control.

    The Tuareg Uprising

    • Tuaregs are an ethnically Berber, nomadic people in West Africa's Sahel and Sahara regions.
    • Tuareg fighters have staged multiple uprisings in Mali and Niger for greater autonomy.
    • Current Mali rebellion began in January after Tuareg fighters returned from Libya, where they fought for Moammar Gadhafi.
    • The conflict has driven about 100,000 Malians to neighboring countries, internally displaced more than 90,000.
    • Losses to Tuaregs prompted soldiers' coup in Bamako Thursday March 22.

    On Tuesday, the United Nations said at least 200,000 people have fled the unrest in northern Mali, roughly half of them seeking refuge in neighboring Burkina Faso and Mauritania.

    The heavily armed rebels arrived in northern Mali after the fall of neighboring Libya and launched an insurgency in mid-January. Tuareg separatists have been seeking autonomy for decades.

    The ECOWAS heads of state met in Senegal's capital, Dakar, after the end of a 72-hour deadline for Mali's military junta chiefs to restore constitutional order.

    Coup leader Captain Amadou Sanogo pledged to organize a democratic vote and vowed not to seek office. However, ECOWAS said the junta must take concrete action.

    The regional bloc has put a military force on standby.

    Some information for this report was provided by AP.

    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.
    Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Rulingi
    X
    May 03, 2016 5:16 PM
    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Elephant Summit Results in $5M in Pledges, Presidential Support

    Attended and supported by three African presidents, a three-day anti-poaching summit has concluded in Kenya, resulting in $5 million in pledges and a united message to the world that elephants are worth more alive than dead. The summit culminated at the Nairobi National Park with the largest ivory burn in history. VOA’s Jill Craig attended the summit and has this report about the outcomes.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With the conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, between the rebel PKK and the Turkish state, many Kurds are trying to escape the turmoil by focusing on the success of their football team Amedspor in Diyarbakir. The club is increasingly becoming a symbol for Kurds, not only in Diyarbakir but beyond. Dorian Jones reports from southeast Turkey.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora