France: UN Set to Pass Mali Resolution

Posted October 12th, 2012 at 7:20 am (UTC-5)
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France says the U.N. Security Council will pass a resolution Friday clearing the way for military intervention in the troubled nation of Mali.

The French mission to the U.N. put out a Twitter message saying the council will adopt the resolution Friday afternoon, New York time.

French officials say the resolution will ask the West African bloc ECOWAS to present a plan within 30 days for deploying forces to Mali. The council would then have to approve the plan in a second resolution.

The west African nation was plunged into crisis in March when soldiers overthrew the government, allowing Islamist militant groups to take control of the north.

The militants have held public executions, amputations and floggings in an effort to enforce their strict version of Islamic law, drawing condemnation from the U.N. and human rights groups.

This week, a U.N. human rights official (Ivan Simonovic) said the groups are also enlisting children as soldiers and pushing women into prostitution under the guise of forced marriages.

ECOWAS has offered to send a force of about 3,000 soldiers to stabilize Mali, rebuild the country's shattered army and help drive the militants from the north.

In comments last week, France's envoy to the U.N., Gerard Araud, said the Security Council wants details on the force's composition and objectives. He said the council hopes to authorize deployment of the soldiers as soon as possible but will not give the force “carte blanche.”