News / Africa

    US Backs African Intervention Force in Mali

    Fighters from Islamist group Ansar Dine stand guard as they prepare to publicly lash a member of the Islamic Police found guilty of adultery, in Timbuktu, Mali, Aug 31, 2012.
    Fighters from Islamist group Ansar Dine stand guard as they prepare to publicly lash a member of the Islamic Police found guilty of adultery, in Timbuktu, Mali, Aug 31, 2012.
    The United States wants soldiers in Mali to accept an African outside intervention force to help fight al-Qaida affiliated terrorists in the north. 

    The Obama administration says the international community can not allow Muslim extremists in northern Mali to create a separate Islamic state.

    "We do not need to see a fragmentation of Mali," noted Johnnie Carson, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs.  "We do not need to see a Mali which has a Caliphate in the north.  Nor do we need to see another state created which would not be economically sustainable or viable."

    When troops in the south toppled Mali's government in a March coup, ethnic Tuareg fighters in the north expanded territory under their control.  Militant groups Ansar Dine and the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa have moved to enforce a strict version of Islamic law.

    The terrorist group al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb has become more active.  Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says Mali-based extremists played a role in September's attack on the U.S. mission in the Libyan city of Benghazi that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.

    Carson said terrorists are too powerful for transitional civilian authorities in Mali.

    "Many of their senior leadership and membership are comprised of non-Malians," he said.  "People who have come in from the region, who have come in Algeria, who have come in from Mauritania, who have come in from Libya and other places.  This is a terrorist group and the response to that must be a security, military response."

    In an interview with VOA, Carson said Mali's military should accept an intervention force from the Economic Community of West African States, because the army is fractured by the flight of soldiers to Niger, Burkina Faso and Mauritania.

    "The Malian military has been broken. It is now in need of restructuring and repair and rehabilitation," Carson explained. "It should accept the support, the camaraderie, the mentoring and the friendship of other ECOWAS states as it attempts to get itself together so that it can help address the issues of terrorism in the northern part of the country, as well as humanitarian support."

    Mali's coup leaders and their political allies object to the presence of an ECOWAS force in the capital, Bamako.

    Regional mediation agreed to elections within one year of the coup.  Secretary Clinton says Mali should meet that April deadline "because only a democratically-elected government will have the legitimacy to achieve a negotiated political settlement in northern Mali, end the rebellion, and restore the rule of law."

    Many Malians believe the country should be reunited before holding elections for a new civilian government.  Voting otherwise, they say, legitimizes Mali's partition, giving northern extremists greater claim to a separate state.

    You May Like

    Can EU Survive a Brexit?

    Across Europe politicians are asking if the British vote to leave the European Union will set in motion dynamics that will see other member states leave too

    Video Entrepreneurs at Global Summit Tackle Range of Challenges

    Innovators strive to halt sexual harassment in India, improve rural health in Myanmar, build businesses in Africa

    Key African Anti-Venom About to Permanently Run Out

    The tale of Fav-Afrique’s demise is a complicated one that reflects a deeper crisis brewing in global public health

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Peter from: Lagos
    October 02, 2012 11:13 AM
    The so-called Arab Spring, specifically in Libya, has served to bring an abundance of weapons to the hands of the Al Quida and their minion enabling them to launch an islamist invasion of Mali in West Africa. Unless they are stopped right now, it could spell the doom of Christianity and moderate Islam in West Africa, and indeed ultimately in the rest of Africa. Those islamists must never be allowed to gain a foot-hold in Mali. Their removal requires immediate action because their territorial ambition goes much beyond Mali..

    by: Mali_observer from: USA
    October 01, 2012 8:12 PM
    This is interesting considering the US did not back an intervention force in Mali this past Wednesday citing that elections must be held to determine a legitimate government and to show the international community who is actually in charge

    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.
    Britain’s Vote to Leave EU Sends Shockwaves Through Global Marketsi
    X
    June 24, 2016 10:43 AM
    Britain’s historic decision to leave the European Union is sending shockwaves through global markets. Markets from Tokyo to Europe tumbled Friday under the uncertainty the ballot brings, while regional leaders in Asia took steps to limit the possible fallout. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Britain’s Vote to Leave EU Sends Shockwaves Through Global Markets

    Britain’s historic decision to leave the European Union is sending shockwaves through global markets. Markets from Tokyo to Europe tumbled Friday under the uncertainty the ballot brings, while regional leaders in Asia took steps to limit the possible fallout. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.
    Video

    Video During Ramadan, Faith and Football Converge in Lebanon’s Megadome

    In Beirut, a group of young entrepreneurs has combined its Muslim faith and love of football to create the city's newest landmark: a large, Ramadan-ready dome primed for one of the biggest football (soccer) tournaments in the world. But as the faithful embrace the communal spirit of Islam’s holy month, it is not just those breaking their fasts that are welcome.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora