News / Africa

    France Calls on African Forces to Take Lead in Mali

    Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara (L) greets Dioncounda Traore, Acting President of Mali, after an extraordinary summit of West African regional bloc ECOWAS on the crisis in Mali, Abidjan, January 19, 2013.
    Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara (L) greets Dioncounda Traore, Acting President of Mali, after an extraordinary summit of West African regional bloc ECOWAS on the crisis in Mali, Abidjan, January 19, 2013.
    France’s foreign minister has called on African forces to take the lead in the military campaign against Islamist rebels occupying northern Mali.  But a highly anticipated meeting Saturday in the Ivorian capitol, Abidjan, featuring heads of state from the West African regional body ECOWAS ended without any major announcements about the African deployment.

    ECOWAS leaders have been meeting for the better part of a year to come with a plan to oust the Islamists from northern Mali.  The Islamists took control of the north not long after a military coup in the landlocked country last March.

    But earlier this month, it was France that intervened after the Islamists began a push toward the southern capital of Bamako.  Although ECOWAS almost immediately promised to send troops of its own, few have actually arrived, and fundamental questions about the financing and execution of the African deployment remain unanswered.

    French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius attends crisis talks on Mali in Ivory Coast, Jan. 19, 2013.French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius attends crisis talks on Mali in Ivory Coast, Jan. 19, 2013.
    x
    French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius attends crisis talks on Mali in Ivory Coast, Jan. 19, 2013.
    French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius attends crisis talks on Mali in Ivory Coast, Jan. 19, 2013.
    At a press conference on the sidelines of Saturday’s summit, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said African armies would need to “take the lead,” but he acknowledged it could be weeks before they are in a position to do so.

    "Now, we shall have in the coming days more and more African troops coming directly in Bamako and in different places in Mali," said Fabius. "And step by step they will deploy.  On the other hand, Europe has decided to train the Malian army because the Malian army is both committed and acting in the combat, but at the same time they have to be trained and equipped in a better way.  Step by step, I think it's a question from what I heard this morning of some days, some weeks, the African troops will take over," he said.

    Some analysts had predicted further troop commitments, but little news was announced at the close of Saturday’s summit, and organizers canceled a scheduled press conference.

    The final communique, read aloud by ECOWAS Commission President Kadre Desire Ouedraogo, praised an earlier pledge by Chad to provide some 2,000 troops to the Mali mission, and asked other African countries to become involved.

    Both Fabius and African leaders urged countries from around the world to help launch the African deployment to Mali.  A conference for donors is scheduled to be held January 29 in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

    You May Like

    Hope Remains for Rio Olympic Games

    Facing a host of problems, Rio prepares for holding the games but experts say some risks, like Zika, may not be as grave as initially thought

    IS Use of Social Media to Recruit, Radicalize Still a Top Threat to US

    Despite military gains against IS in Iraq and Syria, their internet propaganda still commands an audience; US officials see 'the most complex challenge that the federal government and industry face'

    ‘Time Is Now’ to Save Africa’s Animals From Poachers, Activist Says

    During Zimbabwe visit, African Wildlife Foundation President Kaddu Sebunya says poaching hurts Africa as slave trade once did

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Watching
    January 19, 2013 10:52 PM
    France is to be commended for its swift action and demonstrated its ability to uphold what it believes to
    be the correct action. Let this be an example to other
    Western Countries should another time arise in Southern Africa?
    no guessing involved.

    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.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora