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UN approves peacekeeping force resolution on Mali

By Patrick Flomo
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

(mylbsonline/Liberia)-The United Nations Security Council has unanimously approved a resolution to create a UN peacekeeping force for Mali.

According to the BBC, the 12,600-strong force is intended to incorporate some 6,000 West African soldiers, already in Mali.

The resolution was proposed by France. France intervened militarily in January to drive Islamist militants out of Mali’s northern desert region.

The UN force is scheduled to deploy at the beginning of July before planned nationwide elections. The world’s largest organization is deploying military force in a country, where there is still no peace to keep.

The ‘blue helmets’ are tasked with securing the main cities and roads, but will not be in Mali to engage jihadist fighters.

The task to engage jihadist fighters in the country is left to a 1,000-strong French force, which will continue to ‘chase terrorists’ whenever needed.

France got what it wanted out of the resolution, African forces, already on the ground, are to be integrated into the UN force, while the French will be able to operate freely according to prevailing threats.

A small number of French officers and specialists may well be ‘Blue Helmeted.’

Blue Helmeting the French officers is aimed at transferring authority to the UN in July, hence, the so-called peacekeepers can help ensure peaceful elections, if such transition happens.

But there is a real concern at the UN that its troops could be targeted in sporadic attacks.

 


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