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

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

1855 Slave Brochure Starkly Details Sale of Black Americans

Document lists entire families that were up for sale in New Orleans, offering graphic insight into the slavery trade More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs