News / Africa

UN Security Council Has Growing Concerns Over Sahel

Malians protest in favor of an international military intervention to regain control of the country's Islamist-controlled north, in Bamako, Mali, December 8, 2012.Malians protest in favor of an international military intervention to regain control of the country's Islamist-controlled north, in Bamako, Mali, December 8, 2012.
x
Malians protest in favor of an international military intervention to regain control of the country's Islamist-controlled north, in Bamako, Mali, December 8, 2012.
Malians protest in favor of an international military intervention to regain control of the country's Islamist-controlled north, in Bamako, Mali, December 8, 2012.
TEXT SIZE - +
Margaret Besheer
— The U.N. Security Council has expressed concern that the instability in northern Mali is threatening peace and security in the rest of the Sahel.

At a meeting Monday on the Sahel, the 15-nation Security Council said in a statement there is a need to “respond swiftly” to the crisis through a comprehensive and strategic approach that includes restoring Mali’s territorial integrity and preventing further destabilization of other countries in Africa's Sahel region.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told the meeting that there is “a sustained, systemic crisis” across the entire region.

“The warning lights for the Sahel region continue to flash. Political turmoil, terrorist activity, drug trafficking and arms smuggling are spilling over borders and threatening peace and security. Extreme climatic conditions and fragile economies only add to this toxic brew of vulnerability,” he said.

Ban said the United Nations has mobilized more than $1 billion to help Sahel countries respond to the immediate needs of affected populations - among them the more than 140,000 refugees who have fled instability in Mali after rebels and terrorist groups seized control of the northern part of the country.

Two months ago, the U.N. chief appointed former Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi as his special envoy for the Sahel, tasked with developing and implementing an integrated strategy for the region. That strategy will encompass governance, security, humanitarian, human rights and developmental issues.

Prodi told the Security Council that the Sahel’s challenges include high youth unemployment, weak institutions, organized crime and terrorism.  On Mali, he said the situation could potentially affect the entire region and that any international intervention must ensure that what has happened in Mali does not spread to all of the Sahel. He also reflected the U.N. secretary-general’s cautious stance regarding authorizing an outside military force for Mali.

“Any military force in Mali must be undertaken after careful analysis and through preparation and that this effort could be part of an agreed political process that tackles the root of the conflict,” said Prodi.

The West African regional bloc ECOWAS was represented at Monday’s meeting by Ivory Coast Foreign Minister Charles Koffi Diby. He urged the council to quickly authorize an African-led force of 3,300 troops to help restore stability to Mali. He spoke through a translator, referring to the mission, which is to be known by the acronym AFISMA.

“We must act urgently and now, because any further delay of the adoption of a resolution authorizing the deployment of AFISMA is likely to strengthen the position of the terrorists, and the price to pay for their removal will be even higher for all of us,” said Diby.

France has taken the lead on drafting a resolution authorizing AFISMA’s deployment. The French ambassador has said he hopes it will be adopted before the end of this year.

You May Like

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Turkish Law Gives Spy Agency Controversial Powers

Parliament approves legislation to bolster powers of intelligence service, which government claims is necessary to modernize and deal with new threats Turkey faces More

Video Face of American Farmer Changing

Average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Elias
December 11, 2012 10:36 AM
Hope you have reviewed Election Requirements for Zimbabwe and the monitoring before and after the Elections as well as Press and TV coverage.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Face of American Farmer is Changingi
X
Mike Osborne
April 18, 2014
The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid