This Day (Lagos)

20 October 2012

West Africa: Jonathan, Global Leaders Brainstorm in Mali Over Al-Qaeda

President Goodluck Jonathan was among international leaders who met Friday in Mali's capital to discuss ways of ousting al-Qaida-linked Islamist groups who control the country's north.

Participants at the Bamako meeting include representatives from the United Nations, West African bloc ECOWAS, the African Union and the European Union.

A report monitored on the Voice of America (VOA) yesterday said ECOWAS has proposed deploying a 3,000-strong military force to dislodge the militants but some Malians oppose foreign intervention and prefer taking a political approach.

Mali was plunged into chaos by a March 22 coup that toppled the president. The militants who seized the north have held public executions, amputations, and floggings in an effort to enforce their strict version of Islamic law

Last week, the U.N. Security Council passed a resolution clearing the way for deployment of the ECOWAS force. The resolution gave African leaders 45 days to draw up a plan for military intervention.

Former colonial power France led the call for action on Mali in the Security Council and was a sponsor of the resolution. President Francois Hollande, speaking in Senegal last week, said the "horrors in northern Mali can't be tolerated."

Marches by hundreds of people in recent weeks in Bamako have highlighted splits in Malian public opinion, with some calling for swift foreign military intervention with others vehemently against it.

Meanwhile, Mali's interim President Dioncounda Traore has called for swift foreign intervention to retake the country's north from al-Qaida-linked Islamist militants.

Traore told an international conference in Bamako Friday that time is of the essence if the militants are to be dislodged. "I want to emphasize the urgent nature of this implementation because we are in a real race against time and can't afford to lose even a second of time to the benefit of our common enemy," he said.

Traore promised "total collaboration" with the force by his government.

Last week, the U.N. Security Council passed a resolution clearing the way for deployment of the ECOWAS force. The resolution gave African leaders 45 days to draw up a plan for military intervention.

The African Union's new chairperson, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, said the AU has "deep concern" about Mali's situation. She said the AU will open an office in Bamako to oversee security, environmental and developments programs for Africa's Sahel region.

Ads by Google

Copyright © 2012 This Day. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.

InFocus

African Leaders Plan Military Intervention in Mali

Doctors at this clinic run by Medicins sans Frontieres said that children often arrive at M'bera suffering from malnutrition.

African Union leaders have joined talks in Bamako to follow up on a United Nations Security Council resolution paving the way for a West African military force which would oust ... Read more »