The UN Security Council Friday unanimously adopted a resolution which is considered as a comprehensive approach to the overlapping governance, security, and humanitarian crises affecting Mali.
Reports say the new resolution urges the African regional groups and the UN to present within 45 days a plan for military intervention in Mali.
The resolution cites that the 15-member Council called on Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to provide military to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union (AU) to respond to the request from Mali’s transitional authorities for military intervention to oust the Islamists.
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Today, the United States of America underlined its support on the resolution on Mali adopted by the UN Security Council.
In her remarks at Washington DC today, Department Spokesperson Victori Nuland says the resolution today accomplishes a number of important objectives: it imposes targeted sanctions against AQIM individuals and entities in Mali, supports a negotiation process to seek a sustainable political solution with the North, provides support and assistance from the UN and member states to bolster planning efforts by ECOWAS and the African Union, and expresses the readiness of the Security Council to respond to the request from the Transitional authorities of Mali regarding a potential force to assist the Malian armed forces.
“The United States believes that ECOWAS and the AU should play a prominent role in planning and implementing any such response, with strong and active support from the international community.” -Ms. Nuland
She stresses that both military and civilian elements will be essential in responding to the emerging threats in Mali and the Sahel.
According to Ms. Nuland, the U.S. government’s objectives to address the situation in Mali include restoring the authority of the State of Mali over its entire national territory, upholding the unity and territorial integrity of Mali, and confronting the threat posed by AQIM and affiliated groups.
“Strengthening democratic institutions must be at the heart of combating extremism and political upheaval.” -Ms. Nuland
The United States believes that restoration of democratically-elected government in Mali by April 2013, as called for by ECOWAS, is a crucial component of the overall long-term solution to Mali’s current crises.
In addition, Ms. Nuland also says the US welcomes the appointment of Special Envoy Romano Prodi.
She says the Secretary General should empower the envoy to marshal U.N. resources to help Bamako hold elections by April 2013, and to engage with Malian, Tuareg and regional stakeholders to promote a negotiated settlement to the Tuareg rebellion.
“In addition, the envoy should support U.N. OCHA’s ongoing efforts to improve the international response to the humanitarian crisis in the Sahel region.” -Ms. Nuland
The US is looking forward to the report called for by today’s resolution and for continued international attention regarding the situation in Mali.
With the rise of extremism engulfing Mali, US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has said chaos and violence in Mali does threaten to undermine the stability of the entire region of Sahel.
There is an apparent danger posed by violent extremists imposing their brutal ideology, committing human rights abuses, destroying irreplaceable cultural heritage in Mali.
The violence in Mali has displaced nearly 500,000 people from their homes, and 4.5 million more are suffering from dwindling food supplies.
The United States has already provided more than $378 million to meet the escalating humanitarian needs in the Sahel.
What is happening inside Mali is augmented by the rising threat from violent extremism across the region.
For some time, al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb and other groups have launched attacks and kidnappings from northern Mali into neighboring countries.
The United States is also stepping up its counterterrorism efforts across the Maghreb and Sahel as well.
The outbreak of conflict in northern Mali was caused by clashes between Government forces and Tuareg rebels.
Tuareg rebels launched a new rebellion in the north on 17th of January. Since then, troops have clashed with rebels in several northern towns.
Tuareg nomads are present throughout the Sahel region of Africa. Both Mali and Niger have battled Tuareg uprisings in the last decade.
The Sahel has regularly been afflicted by food insecurity as drought, poor harvests and rising food prices have left the region on the brink of a humanitarian crisis.
The Sahel belt of Africa stretches from Senegal to Eritrea.