News / Africa

UN Considers Mandate for Troops to Mali

Fighters from the Al Qaeda-linked Islamist group MUJWA, who are traveling with a convoy including Burkina Faso Foreign Minister Djibril Bassole, stand guard in Gao, northern Mali, August 7, 2012.
Fighters from the Al Qaeda-linked Islamist group MUJWA, who are traveling with a convoy including Burkina Faso Foreign Minister Djibril Bassole, stand guard in Gao, northern Mali, August 7, 2012.
Larry Freund
NEW YORK — The U.N. Security Council is discussing a proposal to deploy West African troops to Mali, where Islamist militants have seized control of the north, but is waiting for an official request from Mali's interim government before moving forward. 

After hearing reports on Mali from U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and from the Economic Community of West African States, known as ECOWAS, the Council met privately to review a mandate for sending a West African stabilization force to Mali.

Their conclusion was described by France’s ambassador Gerard Araud, president of the Security Council this month, who spoke with reporters.

“It’s obvious that ECOWAS is not going to deploy a force in Mali under a U.N. mandate without the official request by the legitimate authorities of Mali.  So I think the first thing we have to receive is a request coming from the authorities in Bamako,” he said.

Araud added that in legal terms, a U.N. mandate for the ECOWAS force is unnecessary if the Mali government were to request the troops from the African group.  But, he added, ECOWAS wants to have what he called the international legitimacy of the U.N.

“But of course we are not going to give this authorization - that was the general feeling of the Council - without being informed about what is the mission of the force, about what is the concept of operations,” said the French ambassador.

The goals of the ECOWAS force were spelled out for reporters by the ECOWAS Commissioner of Political Affairs, Salamatu Hussaini Suleiman.  First, she said, the troops would help to secure Mali’s transitional government.  Then they would help the Malian armed forces to restructure and be in proper shape to fight for re-establishing the territorial integrity of Mali.

Since Mali’s elected government was ousted by a military coup in March, Islamist militant groups have taken control of the northern section of the country.  Suleiman said ECOWAS is stepping up its mediation efforts in Mali.

“And if we succeed in getting the rebels in the northern part of the country to come and participate in government, if we succeed in getting rid of all the criminal activities that are taking place in the north of Mali, then there may be no need for going there as a force.  But if it becomes necessary, ECOWAS will indeed support the destructed Malian army to re-establish the territorial integrity of Mali,” she said.

In her formal remarks to the Security Council, Suleiman said the objective of what she called the terrorist groups and transnational organized criminals in northern Mali is clear - to create a safe haven and a coordinating center for continental  terrorist networks.  If that happens, she went on, no country in Africa or outside the continent will be safe.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in his speech to the Security Council, called the situation in Mali deeply troubling.  He said he is extremely concerned about reports that armed groups in northern Mali are committing serious human rights violations, including summary executions of civilians, rapes and torture.

“I encourage the Security Council to give serious consideration to the imposition of targeted travel and financial sanctions against individuals or groups in Mali engaged in terrorist, religious extremist or criminal activities,” said the world body chief.

Ban urged the Mali government to develop what he described as an over-arching political strategy to return the country to constitutional order and establish state authority in the north.

You May Like

Scotland Vote Raises Questions of International Law

Experts say self-determination, as defined and protected by international law, confined narrowly to independence movements in process of de-colonization More

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

Conservationists hail ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015 More

Annual Military Exercise Takes on New Meaning for Ukraine Troops

Troops from 15 nations participating in annual event, 'Rapid Trident' in western Ukraine More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: ALI from: MALI
August 09, 2012 1:23 PM
ecowas leaders are corrupt too they see MALI as a piece of cake to bite the solution is negotiation


by: Barou from: Bamako
August 09, 2012 12:23 PM
I believe that UN must not back ECOWAS because their agenda is not to help Mali otherwise they would have not blocked the Malian arms at their borders. I am very sure that the problem would have been solved if Burkina Faso and its ally France, for instence,were not helping the MNLA fighters.ECOWAS urged the soldiers to stablish the constitutional order but they are the ones who are violating it by imposing us Dioncounda Traore after the 40 days allowed by our constitution not withstanding that this latter and his pati are the ones who created this situation in our country. The only sollution in Mali today is Diallogue between the Malian people in the south first and this is what the corrupted leaders fear because they have lost all legitimaty and they are affraid of the sanction of the people.Please, ask them to discuss but don't help them to destroy our country.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctionsi
X
September 18, 2014 2:28 AM
A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid