21 December 2012

Mali: U.S. Backs UN Resolution for Mali

Washington — The U.S. government welcomes a United Nations resolution to restore stability and democracy in Mali, where generals have taken power and Islamic separatists are trying to set up their own state.

"The resolution, cosponsored by the U.S., supports a comprehensive approach to addressing the overlapping governance, security, and humanitarian crises affecting Mali," according to a statement by the State Department December 21.

Mali fell into chaos in March 2012, when the military ousted then-President Amadou Toumani Touré and rebels with violent extremist links declared a breakaway state in the northern portion of the country.

The United States backs the U.N. resolution, which will help Mali on four different levels: 1) restore elected government, 2) address the grievances of northern Mali groups that reject terrorism and secession, 3) confront the threat posed by terrorist groups such as al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb and international criminal networks and 4) ease the humanitarian crisis.

The U.S. goal is to ensure that the African-led International Support Mission in Mali, which the U.N. Security Council has authorized, is successful and "maximally effective," the statement said. The African Union, the Economic Community of West African States and the European Union backed the resolution, along with the United States.

The U.S. statement cited the need to rebuild the capacity of the Malian defense and security forces and condemned their interference with civilian government and their human rights abuses. It added that the perpetrators must be brought to justice. The statement alsosaid that before any U.N.-sanctioned military action is taken in northern Mali, the planning will have to be "refined" and the U.N. secretary-general will have to sign off on it.

"Success in Mali is in our strategic interest, and in the interest of our allies and partners," the statement said. "We will work to ensure that Mali, the region, and the international community have the right approach and resources to succeed."

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