France ready to support African military intervention in Mali 0708124

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Defense News - Mali

 
 
Tuesday, August 7, 2012, 10:41 AM
 
France ready to support African military intervention in Mali.
France will support African military intervention in Mali to crack down on Islamist insurgents but will not send troops, French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Sunday, August 5, 2012.. "An African military intervention is desirable and inevitable," Le Drian told France Info Radio.
     
France will support African military intervention in Mali to crack down on Islamist insurgents but will not send troops, French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Sunday, August 5, 2012.. "An African military intervention is desirable and inevitable," Le Drian told France Info Radio.
Malian military junta troops who carried out a coup in March guard a street after renewed fighting in the capital Bamako May 1, 2012. Forces of Mali's ruling military junta battled troops loyal to ousted president Amadou Toumani Toure in several parts of the capital Bamako.
     

However, France will not take a military initiative in Mali, he said. France hopes that African forces could be the first to take action in Mali in line with the UN Security Council resolution.

The minister expressed concern over the situation in northern Mali, which has been under the control of Islamist groups for almost five months.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said earlier that his country would not send troops to Mali, but would help West African nations to get approval from the international community to use force.

Mali has been struggling to stay as one united nation since a military coup in March, when hardline Islamists and Tuareg rebel forces seeking an independent homeland took advantage of the chaos and seized control of the north.

The Islamists subsequently forced out the Tuareg nationalists and took control of the region and imposed Sharia law.

According to UN refugee officials, the armed conflict in northern Mali has forced 260,000 people to flee to neighboring countries.

Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz on Monday ruled out sending troops to Mali, where the embattled government has lost control of the north to Al-Qaeda-linked militias.

The entire northern half of Mali has been occupied since late March by rebels with links to Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, which has also carried out attacks in Mauritania.

 

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