News / Africa

UN Considering Peacekeeping Force for Mali

A French tank is seen heading north at the tail end of military convoy in Gao, northern Mali, Feb. 6, 2013.A French tank is seen heading north at the tail end of military convoy in Gao, northern Mali, Feb. 6, 2013.
x
A French tank is seen heading north at the tail end of military convoy in Gao, northern Mali, Feb. 6, 2013.
A French tank is seen heading north at the tail end of military convoy in Gao, northern Mali, Feb. 6, 2013.
Margaret Besheer
— The U.N. Security Council has begun discussing the possibility of deploying a U.N. peacekeeping force in Mali, once Malian and French forces have stabilized the country.

In December, the Security Council authorized the African-led International Support Mission to Mali [AFISMA], to consist of about 3,000 troops from the region. The force was to be dispatched in September or October for a period of one year to help take back northern Mali from Islamist militant groups.

But with the Islamist offensive in January and the French military intervention that drove the militants out of their strongholds, diplomats say the situation has changed. They will now seek to transition the nascent AFISMA force, which accelerated its deployment and began arriving in Mali last month, into a mission that is under full U.N. control.

France’s U.N. ambassador, Gérard Araud, told reporters after Wednesday’s private meeting that before the mission can become a peacekeeping force, the situation on the ground must stabilize.

“We are not yet deploying a peacekeeping operation. There is the prospect of a peacekeeping operation," said Araud. "It was the first time that I was raising the issue in the Security Council and I was insisting on the fact that the deployment will be possible only when the security circumstances permit. So I think we have to wait several weeks before assessing the security environment and taking the decision of deploying a peacekeeping operation.”

Diplomats said privately that a resolution authorizing a peacekeeping force for Mali is not likely before the end of February. After that it could take about a further two months to “re-hat” the African forces into blue-helmeted U.N. peacekeepers.

U.N. peacekeeping chief Hervé Ladsous said his office already is working on all the different possible scenarios for Mali.  

“This is all being worked upon. But I think the consensus [is] that it will have to be a peacekeeping operation when conditions allow, and that could happen, I think fairly quickly; then that is the way to go,” Ladsous.

In addition to a Security Council resolution laying out the size, scope and authority of such a force, the U.N. also would need the authorization of the Malian government as the host country, and the agreement of the African Union and the West African regional bloc, ECOWAS.

You May Like

Diplomats Work to Extend Israeli-Palestinian Cease-Fire

US Secretary of State John Kerry, diplomats from France, Britain, Germany, Italy, Turkey and Qatar gathered in Paris Saturday to discuss crisis More

Photogallery US Defense Department Warns of Arms to Eastern Ukraine

‘Imminent’ delivery of Russian rocket launcher poses threat to civilians, US says More

Video Researchers: Africa Genetically Modified Crops Held Back by Scaremongering

GM crops offer best hope of increasing productivity and coping with climate change in Africa, according to co-author of Chatham House report 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.
Astronauts Train in Underwater Labi
X
George Putic
July 25, 2014 7:25 PM
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.
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.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid