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

Changing Under Pressure, IS ‘Potent’ as Ever

US intel officials describe Ramadi's fall as concerning, but say it isn't emblematic of larger effort to degrade IS capabilities More

Nigeria Fuel Shortage Shows Fragility of Africa’s Oil Giant

Although it is the largest oil producer in Africa, country has nearly ran out of fuel it needs to power its generators, cars and airplanes over the past week More

Arrested Football Officials Come Mainly From the Americas

US Justice Department alleges defendants participated in 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through corruption of international soccer 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.
3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Cari
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
May 27, 2015 9:31 PM
Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.

VOA Blogs