Mali: ECOWAS urging intervention
He told the Security Council that the request for military deployment in the last phase would be extremely difficult and strategically unwise without a coordinating center in Bamako.
Bamba said Monday’s ministerial meeting supported the concept of operations agreed to by chiefs of the defense staff on September 14-15 that calls for Mali to accept a minimum deployment of ECOWAS troops and police to secure logistic facilities and military and police staff from the new ECOWAS standby force to be deployed in Bamako.
It says retaking the north will be jointly planned by the ECOWAS force headquarters and Mali defense and security forces.
“This phase requires a lot of combat assets, including fighter jets for the conduct of the operations,” the defense chiefs said.
Bamba said the ECOWAS decisions continue to encounter “fierce resistance” from some extreme elements in Mali. “The question of leadership in Mali remains unclear and this is sending confused signals,” he added.
Meanwhile, Bamba said, terrorist groups in the north of Mali have taken advantage of the near political paralysis in Bamako to consolidate their positions. He said the security and humanitarian situation in the north of Mali is getting worse and continues to pose a major threat to regional and international peace and security.
Germany’s U.N. Ambassador Peter Wittig, the current Security Council president, said that at Monday’s meeting members took note of the Malian request for assistance to ECOWAS and the U.N. and “underlined the need to exhaust all means of negotiation before considering other means.”
He said Mali’s proposal to ECOWAS and its response will be discussed at a later date.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.
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