African Union readmits Mali

2012-10-25 07:44

(Shutterstock)

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

kalahari.com

Addis Ababa - The African Union readmitted Mali after suspending it from the pan-African bloc following a coup in March, and backed plans for authorities there to recapture the north from Islamists.

"Council decides to lift the suspension of Mali's participation in the activities of the AU," the Union's Peace and Security Commissioner Ramtane Lamamra, told reporters.

Mali's membership was revoked after army officers overthrew the elected government seven months ago.

The subsequent chaos gave free rein to a rebellion by Islamic extremists and Tuareg separatists who took over large swathes of the country's north, before the Islamists forced out their former Tuareg allies.

On Wednesday the AU also endorsed a plan urging the "restoration of state authority of the northern part of the country".

The plan, which also calls for free elections in Mali early next year, would be presented to the United Nations Security Council for endorsement, said Lamamra.

Last week officials from the United Nations, the AU, Mali and the regional bloc Ecowas met in the Malian capital to devise a strategy to defeat rebels in the north.

The AU called for Mali's authorities to set up a national body to open talks with any armed groups in the north "willing to engage in dialogue to find the political solution to the crisis", said Lamamra.

Ecowas has assembled a force of some 3 000 troops to try to retake Mali's desert north, an area roughly the size of France.

Harsh version of Sharia law

An AU statement on Wednesday said it was working with Mali, the UN, EU and others on plans "for the early deployment of an African-led international force to help Mali recover the occupied territories in the North".

Hundreds of jihadist fighters, mainly from Sudan and Western Sahara, arrived in northern Mali over the weekend to support the Islamist groups ahead of the planned regional intervention.

Western governments are fearful that northern Mali could become a sanctuary for radicals.

The armed Islamists have already enforced a harsh version of sharia law there, forcing women to cover their heads and banning cigarettes, alcohol and music.

In one incident Islamists stoned an unmarried couple to death. They have also amputated the limbs of thieves and whipped people accused of having violated their interpretation of Islamic laws on marriage and the drinking of alcohol.

Earlier on Wednesday, France's defence minister backtracked from a suggestion that military intervention in Mali was imminent, cautioning that preparations to deploy the African force remained at an early stage.

Jean-Yves Le Drian said last week that military action would happen in "weeks not months".

But he told Radio France International: "It is not the time for intervention at the moment. Right now it is about putting in place the preparations requested by the UN Security Council."

France has led the push for military action in Mali, a former colony where six French hostages are currently being held by Islamist groups. It has promised to support the African force with training, logistics and equipment.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is due in Algeria next Tuesday, where one of the topics of discussion will be the crisis in neighbouring Mali.

Algeria and Mauritania, which both share borders with the rebel-held north of Mali, have called for dialogue to reach a political solution to the crisis.

Both have ruled out sending troops into Mali to battle Islamist militia.

Read more on:    un  |  tuaregs  |  ecowas  |  au  |  eu  |  hillary clinton  |  france  |  mali  |  us  |  west africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

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

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Retirement Actuarial Analyst

Cape Town
DAV Professional Placement Group

Marketing Coordinator

Melkbosstrand
allaboutXpert
R19 000 - R20 000 Per Month

Junior Accounts Clerk

Bellville
Mosaic Manufacturing (Pty) Ltd
R7 000 - R8 500 Per Month

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

20% off all TV Series!

Want to have a chilled day at home? Get 20% off TV series, the perfect excuse to "veg out". Shop now!

Save R700 on the Hisense LED TV Now R2499

Get the Hisense 32” HD ready LED TV for only R2499. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 40% off fashion accessories

Save up to 40% on selected handbags, purses, watches, jewellery and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2000 on top electronics

Get every day mind bowing savings on top electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

As seen on TV - New book releases at only R199 each

Get mind blowing book savings on new titles. 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

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Today is one of those days where the more positive and optimistic you are the more opportunities you seem to attract....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.