News / Africa

US, France Seek African Force for Mali

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, right, meets with Mali PM Cheick Modibo Diarra at UN Headquarters, September 23, 2012.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, right, meets with Mali PM Cheick Modibo Diarra at UN Headquarters, September 23, 2012.
The United States and France want the United Nations to back an African-led peacekeeping force to restore order in northern Mali, where Tuareg militants and al-Qaida-affiliated terrorists have expanded their reach since the March coup against the civilian government in Bamako.

French President Francois Hollande says the time has come for the U.N. Security Council to approve an African-led force for Mali.

President Hollande says a force under the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States would help combat terrorism in the Sahel region and help Mali reorganize its military to meet future threats.

Hollande spoke at a meeting on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly session in New York.  U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told the meeting that chaos and violence in Mali threaten to undermine stability throughout the region as the danger has grown beyond what she calls violent extremists imposing a brutal ideology.

"We now have drug traffickers and arms smugglers finding safe havens and porous borders, providing them a launching pad to extend their reach not only throughout the region but beyond," said Clinton.

So Clinton says it is time for U.N. action to support a regional intervention force.

"We have to train the security forces in Mali, help them dislodge the extremists, protect human rights, and defend borders," Clinton added.  "We have seen the success of African-led efforts to do just that in Somalia and in Cote d'Ivoire and elsewhere."

Clinton says Mali's interim government must meet its April deadline for fair and transparent elections free from the influence of soldiers who toppled the previous government.

"Because in the end, only a democratically-elected government will have the legitimacy to achieve a negotiated political settlement in northern Mali, end the rebellion, and restore the rule of law," Clinton explained.

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan says Mali is a problem that West African leaders cannot solve on their own.

"In northern Mali, you are not dealing with just one group," said Jonathan.  "You are dealing with three to four different groups with different interests.  Some of the interests are purely selfish and anti-social that nobody can allow, that nobody can accommodate.  People who want to protect their drug business cannot be allowed to use northern Mali as a sanctuary."

That instability comes as humanitarian conditions worsen across the Sahel.  U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told the meeting that the region is at a critical juncture with political turmoil, extreme climatic conditions and fragile economies combining to create a perfect storm of vulnerability.

You May Like

ASEAN Ministers Set to Push for South China Sea Agreements

According to documents obtained by VOA Khmer, ministers will stand up for 'freedom of navigation, unimpeded lawful maritime commerce, trade and over flight' More

Puerto Rico Defaults on $58M Debt Payment

Payment was due Saturday, default is first in country's 117 years as a United States possession More

Turkish Public Fears Jihadists More Than Kurds

Turkey facing twin threats of terrorism by Islamic State and PKK Kurdish separatists, says President Erdogan’s ruling AK Party More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Critical Juncture
September 26, 2012 8:59 PM
Some African Countries have for long avoided International condemnation from World Governments, who have turned a "Blind Eye" to extremely serious issues. They have failed in
taking a stance and continue "business as normal". The UN is a classic example of this "recognition"

by: Max A. Joseph Jr from: Brooklyn
September 26, 2012 4:12 PM
Seeing that France has a history of unilateral intervention in its former African colonies, Paris should also handle this one.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Communityi
X
Sharon Behn
August 03, 2015 2:23 PM
A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs