Monday, October 29, 2012

France, US Push Algeria to Back Military Intervention in Mali

France, US push Algeria to back military intervention in Mali

Mon Oct 29, 2012 3:44PM GMT

France and the United States have put more pressure on Algeria to support a military intervention in crisis-hit African country of Mali.

"An intervention in northern Mali is possible without the military backing of Algeria but not without its green light," said the head of the Centre of African Studies, a French think-tank, Pierre Boilley on Sunday.

Earlier in the day, US officials asked regional states including Algeria, which is said to be the region's biggest military power, to back intervention in Mali.

"We encourage greater cooperation with the regional states in dealing with terrorist threat. We encourage collaboration, communication with the notion that terrorists don't recognize international boundaries...That is the key to success,” said Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of African Affairs, Johnnie Carson.

The remarks come as the UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution on October 13 that gave West African nations 45 days to offer details of a plan for a military intervention in Mali.

The Security Council expressed “grave concern about the continuing deterioration of the security and humanitarian situation in the north of Mali, the increasing entrenchment of terrorist elements… and other extremist groups, and its consequences for the countries of the Sahel and beyond.”

The Sahel region is a belt of land including nearly a dozen of the world's most impoverished countries on the southern rim of the Sahara.

Mali plunged into chaos after the country’s democratically-elected government was ousted in a March coup. Tuareg rebels initially took control of two-thirds of the country.

But militants took advantage of the power vacuum created by the coup to seize the northern parts of the country.

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