AU backs military intervention in Mali

2012-11-14 08:00

(Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Ouagadougou - The African Union has endorsed a plan for military intervention to regain control of Mali's desert north from Islamist rebels and restore the authority of the state.

African nations and the international community have expressed growing concern over the continued occupation of Mali's north since it could provide a safe haven to al-Qaeda-linked extremist groups and criminal gangs.

Leaders from the 15-nation Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) meeting on Sunday in Abuja agreed to send 3 300 soldiers to retake control of north Mali, which has been occupied since April.

On Tuesday, the African Union (AU) endorsed the military intervention.

The AU Peace and Security Council "has decided ... to endorse a harmonised concept of operations for the planned deployment of AFISMA, which is the African-led mission in support of Mali," the union's Commissioner for Peace and Security Ramtane Lamamra told reporters, after a meeting in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.

UN resolution


Lamamra did not provide details of the mission, but said its goal would be to "regain the occupied regions in the north of the country, dismantle the terrorist and criminal networks and restore effectively the authority of the state over the entire national territory."

He said the AU urged the United Nations to "authorise for an initial period of one year the planned deployment" of the force.

Lamamra said he believes the UN will pass a resolution approving the mission before the end of the year, but did not confirm when the first troops could be deployed.

Such a force is expected to come from Ecowas members, but also possibly from countries outside the regional bloc as well, according to Lamamra.

UN special envoy Romano Prodi said he will call an international meeting on the Mali crisis in December, but spoke in favour of a negotiated settlement rather than military intervention.

Speaking after talks with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in New York, Prodi told reporters he would call envoys from countries and regional groups - including the African Union, France and Britain - to the meeting in Rome. No exact date has been fixed.

The former Italian premier said he was also trying to set up a humanitarian aid fund for the Sahel region.

"You need a long time to prepare a military operation," Prodi said, adding that he would use the time to work on a possible negotiated settlement.

Meeting with rebels

Meanwhile the UN's representative in West Africa Said Djinnit met representatives of Islamist rebels Ansar Dine at a private residence in Ouagadougou, marking their first official contact.

The meeting came after Djinnit held talks with Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaore, the regional chief mediator in the crisis.

Djinnit stressed that "all options and avenues of dialogue should be exploited to try to fix the problem in a peaceful manner."

Mohamed Ag Aharib, an Ansar Dine representative said his group "assured (Djinnit) that we are ready to dialogue."

He underlined that his movement, one of the Islamist groups occupying the north, was waiting from a sign from Malian authorities that they were also seeking peace.

Tuareg rebels, who also met Djinnit in Ouagadougou, separately said they were "completely open to dialogue," according to Ibrahim Ag Mohamed Assaleh, one of the leaders of the movement.

Mali rapidly imploded after a coup in Bamako in March allowed Tuareg desert nomads, who had re-launched a decades-old rebellion for independence, to seize the main towns in the north with the help of Islamist allies.

The secular separatists were quickly sidelined by the Islamists, who had little interest in their aspirations for an independent homeland and set about implementing their version of strict Islamic law, meting out punishments including public stonings and floggings and destroying World Heritage sites they considered idolatrous.

Djinnit said he "cannot speak about the deadline for the deployment" of an invasion force.

But he too stressed that "the option preferred by everyone, including Ecowas, the African Union and the United Nations, is the option of dialogue, and we hope that dialogue will take place as soon as possible".

In Paris, French President Francois Hollande said "France and Europe will provide logistic support, and training" to any mission but stressed that France would not intervene on its own in the crisis.

Read more on:    ecowas  |  au  |  mali  |  west africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

'Zuma's legacy will be judged by Nkandla'

The legacy of President Jacob Zuma is contingent on how he deals with the issue of upgrades to his Nkandla homestead, says Cape Town Archbishop Thabo Makgoba.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Bold 9790

Bold Design The BlackBerry Bold 9790 smartphone combines the iconic BlackBerry...

From R2979.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be good at organising events but they do take their toll on your energy levels. You may need some time out today just to...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.