News / Africa

US Tries to Fight Terror in Mali Without Funding Mali's Military

US Trying to Help Fight Terrorism in Mali Without Funding Mali Militaryi
X
October 09, 2013 4:32 AM
Al-Qaida-affiliated terrorists in Mali are claiming responsibility for fresh attacks following the August election of a new civilian government. The United States says it is helping fight terrorism in Mali but will not provide military assistance because of concerns about Mali's army.

US Trying to Help Fight Terrorism in Mali Without Funding Mali Military

Al-Qaida-affiliated terrorists in Mali are claiming responsibility for fresh attacks following the August election of a new civilian government. The United States says it is helping in the fight against terrorism in Mali but will not provide military assistance because of concerns about Mali's army.
 
Suspected Islamist militants this week shelled the northern Malian city of Gao for the first time in nearly five months, renewing attacks that had been halted by French forces earlier this year.  The Obama administration says it is targeting those al-Qaida-affiliated terrorists.
 
"The defeat of al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb and affiliated violent extremist groups in Mali is a top priority for the United States.  We have provided information and we’ve provided logistical support to French military operations there," said Deputy State Department Spokeswoman Marie Harf.
 
However, Washington is not providing assistance to Mali's military, which overthrew the government last year and has resisted security sector reforms by the new civilian president.
 
"We’re committed to working with the government of Mali to restore this assistance in coordination with other donors and in a way that supports their efforts to strengthen their institutions and their civilian control over the military," continued Harf.
 
There are also concerns about military human rights abuses, according to Sarah Margon from Human Rights Watch.
 
"Our priority is really seeing accountability for those abuses that were scaled up during the coup and in the aftermath," said Margon.
 
Margon added that Mali's new president, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, has a lot of work to do.
 
"There's a host of issues; abuse particularly within the security sector but also corruption concerns.  As the U.S. decides when it will turn the spigot back on for security assistance, we would certainly hope that these will be some of the top priorities that they focus on," continued Margon.
 
President Keita has made security and accountability top priorities for his new government, but he also told world leaders at the United Nations that he can not do it alone.
 
"When we look at security we must include issues of trust and concerns over sovereignty.  The nature and breadth of threats on the ground demand that we go beyond these considerations and work to pool our resources because these threats are beyond the capacities of any one state," explained Keita.
 
Cooperation in fighting terrorism in the Sahel is especially important at a time of instability in North Africa, says U.S. Institute of Peace analyst Manal Omar.
 
"There have been a few prison breaks in Libya.  There have been prison breaks in Tunisia.  And I think that really signals that even in the capitals and in the major cities, [governments] are having a hard time controlling [their countries].  And borders are hard to control under the best of situations.  So you can only imagine the challenge that really is coming in front of the Libyan government in terms of the Sahel, in terms of coordination with Mali," said Omar.
 
Some of the ethnic Tuaregs who fled Libya are part of the Islamist militant groups currently destabilizing northern Mali.
 
"It's important to look at the humanitarian aspect of the Tuareg and how do you make sure that you are not creating camps that will essentially be recruitment grounds because they are being treated unfairly," warned Omar.
 
While continuing to work with French forces in Mali, the Obama administration has indicated it plans to meet with key Malian leaders to discuss restoring military aid, with the goal of fighting terrorism.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Video Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid