Mali asks UN to take on drug traffickers fuelling conflict

2015-06-24 07:36

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

New York - Mali asked the United Nations on Tuesday to take on drug traffickers and roll out an emergency aid package after a peace deal was signed to end violence in the north.

Foreign Minister Abdoulaye Diop told the Security Council that the UN peacekeeping force must help restore state authority in the north after an Islamist takeover in 2012 plunged the country into turmoil.

"This will be a first test for the agreement," Diop said as the council prepares to vote next week on renewing the mandate of the 11 500-strong MINUSMA force.

The foreign minister called for a major anti-drug effort to put an end to the trafficking fuelling conflict in northern Mali and stressed that peace would not take hold without such a campaign.

"We will never achieve a definite settlement for this crisis without this initiative because drugs are fuelling all sides in this conflict," Diop said.

Revenue from drugs smuggling has helped rebel groups throughout the region, some of whom are allied with al-Qaeda, to buy weapons and finance their offensives.

Emergency humanitarian package

The 15-member council was meeting to discuss ways to cement gains made in northern Mali after a Tuareg-led rebel alliance at the weekend finally signed a peace accord agreed several months ago.

The accord had been signed in May by the Bamako government and the coalition of armed groups supporting it, but the holdout Coordination of Azawad Movements (CMA) had balked at the deal.

The deal is aimed at ending conflict in the north that led to an Islamist takeover in 2012 that finally ended when French troops were deployed amid fears that the insurgency could reach Bamako.

The UN envoy for Mali, Tunisian Mongi Hamdi, told the council that the coming months would be critical for northern Mali and called on international financial institutions to quickly unlock funds.

"The Malian populations must be able to see the peace dividends," Hamdi said.

Diop called for an emergency humanitarian package that would allow safe passage for aid convoys to the north and provide badly needed assistance for civilians.

"This is one of the first tasks that we need to tackle, with the help of the United Nations," said Diop.

The council is due to vote on Monday on renewing the MINUSMA force, one of the most dangerous UN peace operations, which regularly comes under attack by militants.

Read more on:    mali  |  west africa

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.
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
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
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.