News / Africa

US Advocates Political Solution in Mali

US Advocates Political Solution in Mali, Backs French Military Strikesi
X
January 17, 2013
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

TEXT SIZE - +
— 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

Photogallery Pope's Easter Prayer: Peace in Ukraine, Syria

Pontiff also calls for end to terrorist acts in Nigeria, violence in Iraq, and success in peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians More

Abdullah Holds Lead in Afghan Presidential Election

Country's Election Commission says that with half of the ballots counted, former FM remains in the lead with 44 percent of the vote More

Russia-Ukraine Crisis Could Trigger Cyber War

As tensions between Kyiv and Moscow escalate, so too has frequency of online attacks targeting government, news and financial sites More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
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