Mali urges UN to authorize force to fight terrorism in Sahel

AP News
Posted: Jun 16, 2017 11:52 PM

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Mali's foreign minister is urging the U.N. Security Council to authorize the immediate deployment of a five-nation force to fight the growing "terrorist" threat in Africa's vast Sahel region — a move the United States opposes.

Abdoulaye Diop told the council Friday that Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, the acting president of the so-called Group of Five, is deeply concerned at the difficulties the French-drafted resolution is facing in the council.

He said the leaders of Mali, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Niger and Chad created the force to fight terrorism and trans-national crime, and its deployment is only awaiting Security Council authorization.

A U.S. official said recently that while the Trump administration supports the force in principle, it doesn't believe a council resolution is legally necessary for its deployment.