Ban calls for urgent action to reunify Mali

2012-11-29 11:07
Ban Ki-moon (AP)

Ban Ki-moon (AP)

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

New York - Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for urgent action to help Mali's government and people reunify the country in a report to the UN Security Council, first by promoting political reconciliation and as a last resort by a military operation to oust al-Qaeda and hardline extremists from the north.

Mali was plunged into turmoil in March after a coup in the capital of Bamako created a security vacuum. That allowed the secular Tuaregs, who have long felt marginalised by Mali's government, to take half the north as a new homeland.

But months later, the rebels were kicked out by Islamist groups allied with al-Qaeda, which have now imposed strict Shariah law in the north.

"Northern Mali is at risk of becoming a permanent haven for terrorists and organized criminal networks," Ban said in a report circulated to the UN Security Council late Wednesday.

"Urgent action is required to help the Malian government and people reunify their country, bring about a swift return to constitutional order, and deprive al-Qaeda and its affiliates of a platform that enables them to threaten the Malian state, neighboring countries and the international community as a whole."

The secretary-general said that before any military action is launched the focus must be on initiating a broad-based political dialogue and addressing the longstanding grievances of the Tuaregs.

Key political actors

"The urgent need for progress on the political track cannot be overstated," Ban said.

He said the political process must focus on four objectives: formulating a roadmap for a political transition, negotiations with armed groups in the north that renounce terrorism, preparations for the holding of elections, and promoting national reconciliation.

"The internal divisions in Bamako constitute the single greatest obstacle to progress on the political track and must be addressed as a matter of urgency," Ban said. "I am particularly concerned that the launch of the national dialogue has been postponed due to a lack of consensus among key political actors in Bamako on its format and composition. It is imperative that this important forum begin its work without further delay."

While Ban expressed fervent hope that the country can be reunified through negotiations, he said it is likely there will be "some terrorists and criminals with whom no dialogue is possible."

"Every passing day brings with it the risk of a further entrenchment of terrorist groups and criminal networks," he said. "Yet, I am profoundly aware that if a military intervention in the north is not well conceived and executed, it could worsen an already extremely fragile humanitarian situation and also result in severe human rights abuses ... [and] also risk ruining any chance of a negotiated political solution to the crisis."

On November 13, the African Union asked the UN Security Council to endorse a military intervention to free northern Mali. The plan, agreed to by leaders of the West African bloc known as Ecowas, calls for 3 300 soldiers to be deployed to Mali for an initial period of one year.

Ban welcomed the effort that went into the plan but reacted cautiously to the proposal.

"Fundamental questions on how the force would be led, sustained, trained, equipped and financed remain unanswered," he said. "Plans for both the international force and the Malian security and defense forces need to be developed further."

Offensive operations

In addition, he said, outside support will be needed to train, equip, provide logistics and funding for both forces.

Should the Security Council authorize the proposed African-led International Support Mission for Mali, which would be known as AFISMA, Ban said it must ensure that all troops are held accountable for their actions.

He suggested specific benchmarks before the start of offensive operations. These should include "the demonstrated operational readiness of the Malian forces and AFISMA," positive developments in the political process, and the effective training of military and police in both forces in their obligations under international human rights, humanitarian and refugee law, he said.

The African Union requested the Security Council to authorise a UN support package for the offensive military operation but the secretary-general said this raised "serious questions" for the UN's image and provision of humanitarian aid and longer-term efforts to stabilise Mali.

"Furthermore, the United Nations has limited ability to deliver a support package in the near term to a combat force," Ban said.

- AP

Read more on:    un  |  tuaregs  |  ecowas  |  al-qaeda  |  ban ki-moon  |  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
0 comments
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 9780

BlackBerry 6 Engage your world with BlackBerry 6 OS on the...

From R3049.00

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.