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

Israelis Quietly Expand Enclave in Palestinian District of Jerusalem

Estimated 500 settlers, armed or protected by paramilitary police, live in Silwan among 50,000 Palestinians More

Video US, Iran Face Similar Challenges in Syrian Fight Against IS

Both Washington, Tehran back fighters battling Islamic State militants in Iraq -- but in Syria they support opposing sides in country’s civil war More

China Boosts Efforts to Help Afghan, Regional Stability

Observers say China’s increased regional involvement are due to concerns that Afghan instability and the presence of anti-China militants in Pakistani border areas could fuel Xinjiang troubles More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Lawi
X
William Ide
October 20, 2014 10:23 AM
China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Nigeria Agrees to Cease-Fire With Boko Haram

Islamist militant group Boko Haram and the Nigerian government have agreed to a cease-fire. The Nigerian government issued an order Friday, telling all military chiefs "to comply with the cease-fire agreement in all theaters of operations. Why now and the significance of the agreement are questions on some people’s minds. VOA's Mariama Diallo reports.
Video

Video Kobani Fighting Sends 400,000 Refugees to Turkey

The offensive by Islamic State militants against the northern Syrian city of Kobani has caused hundreds of thousands of residents to flee to Turkey. They receive help from Turkish authorities and individuals, but say much more is needed. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from the town of Suruc a few kilometers from the border.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Syrian Defector Leaks Shocking Photos of Torture Victims

Shocking photographs purporting to show Syrian torture victims are on display at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. The museum says the graphic images are among thousands of photographs recently smuggled out of Syria by a military policeman-turned-defector. As VOA reporter Julie Taboh reports, the museum says the photos provide further evidence of atrocities committed by the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against its own people.
Video

Video Drought-Stricken California Considers Upgrading Water System

A three-year drought in California is causing a water shortage that is being felt on farms and cities throughout the state. As VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports, water experts, consumers and farmers say California needs to make changes to cope with an uncertain future.
Video

Video TechShop Puts High-tech Dreams Within Reach

Square, a business app and card reader, makes it possible to do credit card transactions through cell phones. But what made Square possible? VOA’s Adrianna Zhang and Enming Liu have the answer.

All About America

AppleAndroid