Nato says no request on Mali role

2013-01-09 14:18
(File, AP)

(File, AP)

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

Brussels - Nato said on Wednesday there has been no request or discussion about the military alliance helping West African forces to retake control of northern Mali from Islamist guerrillas.

"There has been no request or discussion on a possible role for Nato in Mali," said a Nato official who asked not to be named.

On Tuesday, the head of the African Union, Benin President Thomas Boni Yayi, said "Nato should play a part and the African force would lead the way as was done by Nato in Afghanistan".

The West African state of Mali has been cut in two since early last year when Tuareg rebels seized cities in the arid north and east of the country, sparking fears they could destabilise the whole region.

"Nato is not involved in this crisis but the situation in northern Mali is of course of grave concern to us all. It threatens the security and stability of the country, the region and beyond," the Nato official said.

Nato welcomed last year's UN resolution on Mali and the European Union's decision to plan a planning for a military training operation for Mali armed forces, the official said.

"We are hopeful that the efforts of the international community will help restore the rule of law in Mali," the official added.

Yayi, speaking on a visit to Ottawa with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, said: "I think that Nato should add its forces to our efforts so this could be an international mission."

Overnight Monday, Malian soldiers fired warning shots at Islamist fighters near the town of Mopti, some 650km northeast of the capital Bamako.

Mopti is the first major town south of the vast swathe of desert which Islamist groups and Tuareg rebels seized after a coup in Bamako last March.

One regional security source said he was "deeply worried" and suspected the Islamists planned to head southwards into government-held territory.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
Read more on:    tuaregs  |  nato  |  eu  |  mali  |  west africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X 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
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

Boks take ‘no mercy’ approach
Japan victory attracts record TV figures
iPads the secret to Japanese RWC success
Georgia desperate for Namibian win
Traffic Alerts

It is time to focus on your daily rhythm. Are you putting too much attention on future projects and neglecting the day to more

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


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 network.


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.