Mali crisis calls for urgent response: French FM
Updated: 2012-10-19 10:36
PARIS - The French foreign ministry on Thursday said it hoped an upcoming meeting in Bamako would enable the African Union (AU) and ECOWAS to "make progress in planning an African intervention in Mali".
"The crisis in Mali calls for urgent responses in the domains of politics, security, humanitarian and of development," foreign ministry spokesperson Philippe Lalliot said ahead of the high-level meeting to be held on Oct 19.
"We hope the meeting will strengthen coordination between all stakeholders such as Mali, AU, ECOWAS and international organizations," he added.
The UN Security Council last week unanimously adopted a resolution which invites Malian authorities to engage in a political dialogue with local non-terrorist rebel groups and representatives of the local population of northern Mali.
It also gives West African countries and African regional bodies 45 days to offer a "detailed and actionable" military plan to help local forces oust Islamist insurgents that control the country's northern region.
Urging swift action to end the Malian crisis in line with the UN Security Council resolution, Paris said it would "logistically" support the military operation in the country but that it would not send troops.
Mali, a former French colony, has been struggling to stay as one united nation since a military coup in March when hardline Islamists and Tuareg rebel forces seeking an independent homeland took advantage of the chaos and seized control of the north.