International efforts to defeat Islamist rebels gain momentum.
European Union yesterday (15 October) said that it may deploy a military
mission to Mali to help regain control of the north of the country, which has
been seized by Islamist rebels in recent months.
ministers from the EU's 27 member states ended a meeting in Luxembourg by
calling for the EU's diplomatic service, the European External Action Service
(EEAS), to present a plan for consideration on 19 November, when the ministers
likely to be considered in the plan include the despatch of military trainers
to Mali and the deployment of soldiers to fight alongside members of Mali's
believe there's a real risk for the region if Mali remains an ungoverned space,
free for terrorists and drug traffickers to operate,” said the EU's foreign policy
chief, Catherine Ashton.
gravity of EU concerns was underlined by the German foreign minister, Guido
Westerwelle, who said: “We have to avoid at an early stage the development of a
second Somalia, without any rule of law. Because then there are going to be
founded further terrorist schools that will endanger our situation here in
mission would be co-ordinated with the United Nations, the African Union and
the west African grouping, the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas).
On Friday (12 October), the UN's 15-member Security Council unanimously adopted
a resolution calling for Ecowas, the African Union and the UN to draw up a plan
for a possible military intervention, with “detailed and actionable
recommendations” to be delivered within 45 days.
Friday (19 October), all the international groups engaged in efforts to
re-establish security in Mali – including the EU – and representatives from neighbouring
countries will meet in the Malian capital, Bamako, to discuss strategy.
security crisis comes against the backdrop of an ongoing political crisis. The
advances of separatists in the north prompted government soldiers in March to
remove President Amadou Toumani Toure. Under international pressure, a
caretaker government was then established, but the process remains incomplete.
“I hope that what we'll see in the future is a Malian government with a
credible roadmap for the restoration of democratic government,” Ashton said.
the spring, the separatists in the north have been defeated by Islamist rebels.
political and security crises have in turn transformed long-standing food
problems a full-blown humanitarian crisis, forcing up to 450,000 people to
leave their homes.
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