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UN Puts Off Mali Force Decision

Islamist_militancy(BBC) – The UN Security Council has said it is not ready to back a West African intervention force in northern Mali, which has been seized by Islamist militant groups.

The council condemned the destruction of ancient shrines in the historic city of Timbuktu, saying it could constitute a war crime.

The West African bloc, Ecowas, wants to send 3,000 troops to Mali.

But a UN diplomat told the BBC that the council wanted more details.

"Before endorsing an Ecowas force, we would need a clearer plan, more information about what the objectives are, and more evidence that such a force would have a reasonable chance of meeting those objectives," he said.
Neighbouring countries fear the spread of Islamist militancy

Mali's neighbours have lobbied for the UN to back their proposed force, fearing the spread of Islamist militancy from northern Mali.

Thursday's UN Security Council resolution also warned that "attacks against buildings dedicated to religion or historic monuments can constitute violations of international law".

This means that a case could be referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, whose prosecutor has already condemned the recent destruction of Muslim tombs in Timbuktu as "war crimes".

'No to imported Islam'
The Ansar Dine group, which is said to have links to al-Qaeda, seized control of Timbuktu earlier this year and said it destroyed several of the city's shrines as they contravened its strict interpretation of Islam.

Ansar Dine spokesman Sanda Ould Bamana told the BBC that Islamic law did not allow the building of tombs taller than 15cm (6in).

The UN cultural agency Unesco and Mali's government have called on Ansar Dine to halt its campaign.

Unesco has also expressed concern that valuable artefacts and manuscripts may be smuggled out of the region and has urged neighbouring countries to prevent this.

Timbuktu owes its international fame to its role as a centre of Islamic learning, based in its three large mosques, in the 15th and 16th Centuries. It is also known as the "city of 333 saints", which originate in the Sufi tradition of Islam.

Protesters in Bamako asked to be given arms to fight the militants
Ansar Dine's Salafist beliefs condemn the veneration of saints.

The group seized control of Timbuktu in April, after a coup left Mali's army in disarray.

Initially, it was working with secular ethnic Tuareg rebels demanding independence for northern Mali's desert territories but the groups have recently clashed and Islamist forces are in control of northern Mali's three main centres - Timbuktu, Gao and Kidal.

On Thursday, there was a further demonstration in Mali, including some religious leaders, against the northern rebellion in the capital, Bamako.

"No to imported Islam, yes to the Islam of our parents," read one banner, AFP news agency reports.

The day before, some 2,000 - mainly northerners - gathered in central Bamako to protest against Islamist occupation, calling for arms to allow them to go and fight the militants.

Meanwhile, Ecowas's mediation efforts have been dealt a further blow by the decision of the interim President Dioncounda Traore not to attend talks in Burkina Faso over the weekend.

Under pressure from Ecowas, the coup leaders handed over power to Mr Traore after the putsch, but he was beaten unconscious by protesters in May and remains in France wHere he went for medical treatment.


+5 #5 2012-07-06 14:22
International politics is interest driven and therefore hipocritical! As at now the interest of the socalled international community has not been threatened... it also looks like the socalled Islamists and the rebels can be used by the socalled international community for some other purposes at some point as we are witnessing in Syria just now.

I am boldly stating this fact because I have I have Mali and the regions interest at heart.
+6 #4 2012-07-06 12:37
You have said everything ML, HRH has nothing to add.
+6 #3 2012-07-06 11:52
Cont from below:
Here its an African problem the rambling voices of violation of international law and asking for objectives before support starts because is African issue which should be held accountable every time. Shame on United Nepotism and it needs urgent reforms to have a true representation of Africa were our voices would be heard not a body that only represent the interest of the super powers. Reforms or the African continent should boycott the UN.
+6 #2 2012-07-06 11:50
Cont from below:
The UN have watched Sarkozy lead team distributed arms to groups just to have their install Dictator go without condemning and all we hear was “we not sure if groups armed is Qaeda” but ignored all the consequences that followed and left the mess under Africa to take care. Now Mali is divided with more threats to the sub region and ECOWAS want to address this and all we hear from a reputable body like the UN asking such hypocrite question. Is UN a political institution that works for the interest of the Western super powers? UN never approved the invasion of Iraq which is costing millions of lives which was a violation of the international law but did anything happen to the violators? They even continue to live on tax instead of having them at the ICC. Israel has violated international laws more than any country in this world nothing happens.
+5 #1 2012-07-06 11:49
Quote “Before endorsing an ECOWAS force, we would need a clearer plan, more information about what the objectives are…..” What hypocrite question is the UN asking here? Did they ask NATO what their objectives were when they invaded and armed any group? Where they satisfied with the outcomes of the measurable objectives? NATO said they were there to protect civilians and here they killed “150,000” more than Gaddafi’s 42yrs rule. Is any action or serious investigation made by the UN? Did I also hear UN say “can constitute violations of international law?” Which party here violated the international law is it NATO that armed or is it the one who was armed? Why didn’t they ask NATO countries who armed the rebels was that their objectives? Why they don’t investigate the human atrocities committed by the “Northern Alliance Terrorist Organization (NATO)”?

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