World Leaders at Brussels Conference Discuss Mali Intervention

by Colonel on February 5, 2013

“UN, European and African officials are due to meet in Brussels to discuss how to hold democratic elections in Mali in the summer.

They will also discuss the security and humanitarian situation in the wake of last year’s coup and the current offensive against Islamist militants.

French and Malian forces are forcing back al-Qaeda-linked fighters who seized the vast north of the country.

Correspondents say the rapid progress of the French-led force has put the diplomatic focus on how to ensure lasting security in Mali.

The international support group for Mali, meeting in Brussels on Tuesday, will discuss how to support a political process leading to elections that interim President Dioncounda Traore has said Mali hopes to hold on 31 July.

It will also look at how to fund, equip and train an 8,000-strong African force expected to eventually take over.

” — Copyright 2013 BBC

“An international support group for Mali – comprised of the African Union, the United Nations, the European Union and West African states – meets in Brussels on Tuesday to discuss the funding, equipping and training of an 8,000-strong African force, which is expected to eventually take over from the French.

About 45 delegations are expected at the meeting, including ministers or officials from Mali, Algeria and Libya and international lenders such as the World Bank and the African Development Bank.

The EU thinks it can help quickly by releasing some of the 250 million euros of development aid it froze after a coup in Mali in March last year. It could also help to fund human rights monitors who would gather evidence of rights abuses committed by the rebels and act as a deterrent against any abuses by the re-occupying Malian troops.

” — Adrian Croft, Copyright 2013 Thomson Reuters

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