AU appeals for UN funding for Mali force
06 December 2012, 12:41
New York - The African Union appealed on Wednesday for the UN funding
for a military operation to combat Islamist extremists in northern Mali
after the UN chief Ban Ki-moon cautiously recommended the Security
Council approve the force without the UN financing.
descended into chaos in March when soldiers toppled the president,
leaving a power vacuum that enabled Tuareg rebels to seize two-thirds of
the country. But Islamist extremists, some allied with al-Qaeda, have
hijacked the revolt.
The AU observer to the United Nations,
Antonio Tete, told the 15-member Security Council that the deployment
and operations of an African force of 3 300 troops would need "a UN
support package funded through assessed contributions to ensure
sustained and predictable support to the mission".
the Darfur region of Sudan, with AMIS, and, currently, in Somalia, with
Amisom, has clearly shown the limitations of, and constraints linked
to, support provided on a voluntary basis," Tete said.
the African Union's force in Sudan before it became a joint UN-AU force,
which was renamed Unamid. In Somalia, an AU peacekeeping force is known
Diplomats said the African Union and France - the
most vocal Western backer of a plan for African troops to retake
northern Mali - were angry that Ban had not offered UN funding. Seven
French nationals are being held hostage in the desert region.
fall of Mali's north to the Islamists, including Aqim, al-Qaeda's North
African wing, has carved out a safe haven for militants and
international organized crime, the UN officials say, stirring fears of
attacks in West Africa and in Europe.