The UN Security Council on Friday said it could soon endorse an international military force to restore the unity in Mali, the UN said on its website.
Citing the threat to regional peace from terrorists and Islamists in rebel-held northern Mali, the 15-member Council unanimously adopted a resolution, calling on Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to provide military and security planners to African organizations to work out a response to a request by Mali’s transitional authorities for such a force, and to report back within 45 days.
The organizations include the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas), the African Union (AU) and other partners, whom the Security Council in August urged to draft detailed proposals for a stabilization force to restore the country’s territorial integrity.
Mali’s north became controlled by Tuareg rebels and Islamist militants, who have imposed strict Sharia law, following a military coup d’etat in March. A total of 500,000 Malians have been driven from their homes, 270,000 of them to neighboring countries.
The Council called on Malian rebel groups to cut ties to terrorist organizations, in particular Al Qaeda, and threatened those groups which do not obey with targeted sanctions.
It also urged Mali’s transitional authorities, rebels and population to start talks to seek a sustainable political solution to the crisis and demanded that all groups in the north stop attacks against civilians and human rights violations.