Pretoria, South African, 7 Jumadil Akhir 1434/16 April 2013 (MINA) –France has circulated a draft United Nations resolution on Monday (15/4) that would authorise a UN peacekeeping force to interfere key towns in northern Mali.
The draft would authorise a UN force comprising 11.200 military personnel and 1.440 international police to take over from a 6 000-member African-led mission now in Mali on July 1, Independent Online reported as monitored by Mi’raj News Agency (MINA).
It says the UN Security Council could delay the transfer if guerrillas fighter continues to attack in areas where the UN troops would operate or if international military forces are conducting major combat operations in those areas.
The new draft resolution would authorise French soldiers to intervene to support UN soldiers at the request of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
Chadian President Idriss Deby announced on Monday that his 2.000 troops, considered the best desert fighters, retreat from the Mali war. But he didn’t rule out a Chadian contribution to the UN peacekeeping force.
“Chad’s army has no ability to face the kind of guerrilla fighting that is emerging in northern Mali. Our soldiers are going to return to Chad. They have accomplished their mission,” Itno said.
The mandate of the UN force, as spelled out in the draft resolution, does not involving going after insurgents.
Mali was plunged into turmoil after a coup in March 2012 created a security vacuum. That allowed secular oppsition movement Tuaregs, who have long felt marginalised by Mali’s government, to take half of the north as a new homeland.
France launched a military operation January 11 against the Islamic fighters, after they suddenly started moving south into government-controlled areas and captured key towns, according to west’s media reports. (T/P09/P03)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)