Skip to comments.French leader urges UN to back African force for Mali
Posted on 09/27/2012 7:09:33 AM PDT by JerseyanExile
French President Francois Hollande on Tuesday urged the global community to help defuse a crisis in Mali by giving United Nations backing to a West African-led military intervention.
Hollande, making his first speech to the UN General Assembly, said Mali needs help to seize back territory from Islamist rebels, who captured the north and east of the country after a coup created a power vacuum in March.
France has offered to supply logistical support for any military force, in what is a delicate situation for the former colonial power, with six French hostages held in the area by AQIM.
The group threatened last week to execute hostages if there is any military intervention in the region. "The need to free our hostages should not cause us to abandon efforts to ensure Mali's territorial integrity," Hollande said.
"It is up to the Africans, working under a UN mandate, to take the necessary action," he said, adding France wanted to act as a facilitator to help Mali rid itself of terror groups.
ECOWAS has 3,300 regional troops on standby but wants UN approval and has been awaiting the go-ahead from Mali.
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