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

    Russia Sees Brexit Impact Widespread but Temporary

    Officials, citizens react to Britain’s vote to exit European Union with mix of pleasure, understanding and concern

    Obama Encourages Entrepreneurs to Seek Global Interconnection

    President tells entrepreneurs at global summit at Stanford University to find mentors, push ahead with new ideas on day after Britain voters decide to exit EU

    Video Some US Gun Owners Support Gun Control

    Defying the stereotype, Dave Makings says he'd give up his assault rifle for a comprehensive program to reduce gun violence

    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.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    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.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora