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

Video On The Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime bombardment, VOA correspondent finds More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid