Saturday, 20 October 2012

Zuma says military intervention possible to end Mali crisis

BAMAKO, Oct. 20 (Xinhua) -- Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AU) Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma said on Friday that there was a possibility of a military intervention to end the crisis in Mali, whose northern regions are under occupation by rebel groups.
While speaking in Bamako before the Group monitoring the Malian situation which was set up in March by AU's Peace and Security Council, Zuma affirmed that a technical note which will be prepared in collaboration with ECOWAS, will be submitted to the AU on Oct. 24 to be discussed before it can be passed on to the UN Security Council.
"All concerned international partners who include the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), AU and the United Nations, agree in principle that Mali should lead the process of resolving the crisis while others just give her support," she said while also affirming that she was satisfied with the outcome of the meeting.
The chairman of the ECOWAS Commission, Kadre Ouedraogo, who was also present at the meeting, said that the "ECOWAS forces are ready to play their role."
Mali's Foreign Minister Tieman Coulibaly said Friday's meeting was a "diplomatic success" because Mali was listened to by all concerned partners."
After the meeting, he said, the essential task is to restore Mali's total sovereignty and use force to fight against terrorists.
Coulibaly affirmed that preparations for the elections were ongoing but at the same time pointed out that the elections could not be held under the prevailing circumstances where one part of the country is under occupation.
"Holding elections in one region and not the other will be accepting the division of the country," he said. (Xinhua)

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