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UNSC authorizes intl force in Mali

Xinhua | Updated: 2012-12-21 11:23

UNITED NATIONS - The UN Security Council on Thursday agreed to authorize an African-led international military intervention to support Mali in its fight against terrorists and armed rebel groups in the north of the country.

The Security Council "decides to authorize the deployment of an African-led International Support Mission in Mall (AFISMA) for an initial period of one year," said a resolution unanimously adopted by the 15-member body.

The mission "shall take all necessary measure ... to support the Malian authorities in recovering the areas in the north of its territory under the control of terrorist, extremist and armed groups and in reducing the threat posed by terrorist organizations, " said the French-drafted resolution.

The Security Council further mandated the force to contribute to the rebuilding of the capacity of the Malian Defense and Security Forces, in close coordination with other international partners involved in this process, including the European Union and other UN member states.

According to the resolution, AFISMA is also tasked with taking appropriate measures to reduce the impact of military action upon the civilian population.

Welcoming the troop contributions already pledged by countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Security Council called upon UN member states to contribute troops to AFISMA in order to enable the mission to fulfill its mandate.

In addition, the Council urged the transitional authorities of Mali "to finalize a transitional roadmap through broad-based and inclusive political dialogue," in consistence with the Framework agreement of 6 April 2012 signed under the auspices of ECOWAS.

The Security Council "further reiterates its readiness to continue to adopt further targeted sanctions, under the above- mentioned regime, against those rebel groups and individuals who do not cut off all ties to al-Qaida and associated groups," said the resolution.

ECOWAS, which includes Mali, had been calling for approval by the UN Security Council of deploying more than 3,000 troops, probably next year, in northern Mali.

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