News / Africa

US Advocates Political Solution in Mali

US Advocates Political Solution in Mali, Backs French Military Strikesi
X
January 17, 2013 2:20 PM
The United States is advocating a political solution in Mali while backing French military strikes against Islamist militants in the north of the country. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns has the story

US Advocates Political Solution in Mali, Backs French Military Strikes

— The United States is advocating a political solution in Mali while backing French military strikes against Islamist militants in the north of the country.

The Obama administration says it shares French military goals in the fight against Islamist militants in northern Mali and will help the Economic Community of West African States -- or ECOWAS -- send their own troops.

On Tuesday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton discussed that support with Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

"The Secretary did outline the support that we are prepared to offer to ECOWAS countries, as she did make clear that we support the French forces and that we are looking at how best to respond to the requests that they’ve made as well," said State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland.

With rebels in northern Mali linked to al-Qaida, the conflict holds risks for security across the region.

"This constitutes not just a threat against a sovereign state but potentially a trans-national threat that can move across the borders into Niger, into Burkina Faso, into Mauritania, into Senegal as well as Algeria and other places," added Johnnie Carson, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs.

Helping Malian forces regain ground will involve Algeria.

"It has a military that knows the terrain, that knows the players, that has dealt with this before. And so it is going to be absolutely critical to get them engaged," noted Jennifer Cooke, with the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Algeria and the U.S. are working to bring moderates among the northern rebels into a political solution. Ambassador Carson says that is essential.

"Equally important for us, as well as for the people of Mali, is that they move forward in an expeditious manner as quickly as they can to put in place a roadmap and a the United States is pushing for elections by April," said Carson.

Cooke says that is unlikely given the weakness of the transitional government in Bamako.  "There's so little trust right now in any political structure in Bamako that it's going to take I think a lot of external pressure and external support and oversight to make that work," she stated.

If Mali's transitional leaders are unable to organize elections by April, there will be outside pressure for a reconstituted interim administration with less military influence and greater participation from the north.

You May Like

Mali's Female Basketball Players Rebound After Islamist Occupation

Islamist extremists ruled northern Mali for most of 2012, imposing strict Sharia law, and now some 18 months later, the region is slowly getting back on its feet More

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

Many Chinese-made products go unsold, for now, with numerous Vietnamese consumers still angry over recent dispute More

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
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