UN Concerned About Rising Terror Threat in Mali

Posted July 5th, 2012 at 11:50 am (UTC-5)
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The United Nations has expressed “deep concern” about the threat posed by terrorists in northern Mali.

The U.N. Security Council adopted a resolution on Thursday noting the presence of al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) in the region.

The council said it was concerned about increased kidnapping and a proliferation of weapons in northern Mali, and said the situation threatens the security and stability of regional countries.

The resolution urged U.N. members to help build up Malian security forces so the government can retake the north and reduce the threat posed by al-Qaida and its allies.

Witnesses say the number of al-Qaida members in northern Mali has increased since the region was seized by Islamist militants.

Hardline Islamists helped Tuareg separatists take control of northern Mali after the overthrow of Mali's government in March. But since then, the Islamists have pushed out the separatists and taken full control of major cities including Gao, Kidal and Timbuktu.

In its resolution Thursday, the Security Council called for a stop to hostilities in the north and expressed support for efforts by the African Union and West African regional bloc ECOWAS to restore peace and order in Mali.

It also condemned the destruction of ancient Muslim shrines in Timbuktu by hardline group Ansar Dine, and warned those actions could amount to violations of international law.