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.
    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

    Escalation of Media Crackdown in Turkey Heightens Concerns

    Critics see 'a new dark age' as arrests of journalists, closures of media outlets by Erdogan government mount

    Russia Boasts of Troop Buildup on Flank, Draws Flak

    Russian military moves counter to efforts to de-escalate tensions, State Department says

    Video Iraqis Primed to March on Mosul, Foreign Minister Says

    Iraqi FM Ibrahim al-Jaafari tells VOA the campaign will meet optimistic expectations, even though US officials remain cautious

    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.

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Processi
    X
    Katherine Gypson
    July 27, 2016 6:21 PM
    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora