Update on Mali Conflict, Humanitarian Efforts

Last Friday France began strategic airstrikes in northern Mali against rebel groups that have crippled the government since the early part of last year. France has said its intervention will be swift. The United States has already given its support to France saying it will provide intelligence and overhead surveillance according to NBC News. Britain has also pledged its support with logistical assistance.

And African troops are set to flow into the country fighting on the side of the Malian government. Meanwhile the rebels have said via the press that France has “opened the gates of hell” calling France’s interference in military matters a catalyst to the next Afghanistan.

The United Nations’ Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, was briefed about the situation on the ground in Mali last Saturday by the President of Côte d’Ivoire and Chair of ECOWAS, Mr. Alassane Ouattara. And on January 10, Mohammad Masood Khan Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the UN and President of the Security Council for the month of January, spoke to journalists following closed-door Council consultations on the situation in Mali (above).

“These latest events underscore the urgency of implementing all aspects of the resolution, including support to ECOWAS mediation efforts, the development of a consensual roadmap for the transition and provision of support to AFISMA and the Malian defence forces, said the Secretary-General.

Due to the fighting a humanitarian crisis will undoubtedly grow. The World Food Programme has already said it is prepared to provide food assistance to hundreds of thousands of displaced persons who flee the fighting. And the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has said over 300,000 people are spilling over the borders in Burkina Faso and Nigeria. The UNHCR has launched an appeal to the public to help as many people as possible.

Follow the most recent news about Mali on Twitter at #Mali.

Photo: United Nations

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