UN chief recommends intervention in Mali
UNITED NATIONS - Reuters
Malian pro-government militia train in this photo. The fall of Mali’s north to Islamists has carved out a safe haven for militants. REUTERS photoU.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has recommended that the Security Council approve an African Union peace enforcement mission be deployed to combat extremists in northern Mali, but did not offer financial support from the world body.
Diplomats and U.N. officials say that peace enforcement missions allow the use of lethal force in serious combat situations. Ban’s cautiously worded recommendation made clear that the world body is still wary of getting back into the peace-enforcement business. He said that the council should ensure that political, human rights, training and operational benchmarks be met before any military offensive commences. As planning for the mission continues, Ban said the 15-nation council could “authorize member states of the African Union to establish AFISMA for an initial period of one year, comprising 3,300 (international) personnel to take all necessary measures to assist the Malian authorities.” AFISMA is the proposed acronym for the U.N.-mandated African force in Mali.
“Fundamental questions on how the force would be led, sustained, trained, equipped and financed remain unanswered,” Ban said as he suggested that the funding for the initial military combat operations could be through “voluntary or bilateral contributions,” which diplomats said meant EU member states would be asked to cover costs.