UN: Unmanned drones to be deployed in Mali

2014-06-19 10:25

(Shutterstock)

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

New York - The UN peacekeeping force in Mali will be getting unmanned drones to help protect civilians and the UN troops in the volatile north, the peacekeeping chief said on Wednesday.

Herve Ladsous told the UN Security Council that the unmanned aerial vehicles will provide critical information for peacekeepers.

The UN is already using unmanned drones in its peacekeeping operation in Congo, and Ladsous said last month that he would like to deploy drones in countries like Mali, Central African Republic and South Sudan.

Mali's Foreign Minister Abdoulaye Diop told reporters after the council meeting that the drones are not yet in service but the government would like them "as soon as possible".

Northern Mali fell under control of ethnic Tuareg separatists and then al-Qaeda-linked Islamic extremists following a military coup in 2012. A French-led intervention last year scattered the extremists, but the Tuaregs have pushed back against the authority of the Bamako-based government.

Tensions escalated sharply last month when Mali's newly named Prime Minister Moussa Mara visited the key northern town of Kidal for the first time. Tuareg rebels launched an assault on government buildings, killing eight soldiers, six local government officials and two others in what the government described as a "declaration of war".

Successful political process

An uneasy cease-fire was mediated by the African Union but Ladsous said "armed groups have now assumed effective military and, to an extent, administrative control over Kidal and other northern towns".

"The tragic fighting in Kidal and its aftermath and the general insecurity caused by the persisting presence of terrorist groups across northern Mali highlight that much remains to be done to achieve stability" in the country, he said.

"A successful political process is the cornerstone of this stability," Ladsous added. "The status quo cannot stand: progress in the political process is urgent."

Bert Koenders, the UN special envoy for Mali, told reporters that "the main message from all of us was the need to immediately start peace negotiations without delay".

The Security Council authorized a UN force of 11 200 military personnel and 1 440 police for Mali last year, but as of May 26 its strength was significantly lower — 8 280 military personnel and 979 police.

Ladsous said by the end of the month the force will reach 77% of its military strength and 83% of its police strength.

He said combat helicopters capable of supporting long-range patrols and deterrent action over a wide area have already been deployed but the mission needs utility and armed helicopters.
- AP
Read more on:    mali  |  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

 
SPONSORED CONTENT
When is a mountain more than just a mountain? 2014-12-18 07:26

When it’s an adventure! A group of Old Mutual employees found out how much is enough courage, endurance and camaraderie to take on Africa's highest peak.

/News
 

Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!

It’s the season to be jolly – so we’ve rounded up some new Joburg hot spots!

 
 

I love summer.24

Christmas lingerie to make this festive season the best one ever!
13 things you might not know about Disneyland
The craziest deaths of 2014
How to make this a sensual, sexy summer!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy 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

There is so much going on around you and inside your head. You may want to take your ideas to the next level. Romance may be...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.