The Security Council adopted Thursday, December 20, unanimously, a resolution authorizing "for an initial period of one year" the deployment of an international force in Mali. The resolution sets no timetable for the initiation of an attack in northern Mali to expel the extremist Islamist groups that control the area for six months. Diplomats and UN officials stress that rebuild the Malian army, shaken by a coup d'etat and a military defeat, take months and should not expect any offensive liberating before autumn 2013 .
After lengthy negotiations between the French and Americans - who doubt the ability of Africans to carry out this operation - the Council has "authorized the deployment to Mali, for an initial period of one year, International Mission to Mali in support African leadership (Misma) ". Sending such a force, led by Africans and supported by the West, was insistently demanded by the African Union (AU) and the Economic Community of West Africa (ECOWAS).
Resolution 2085 has a political Bamako call to launch a "political dialogue to fully restore constitutional order", including organizing presidential and legislative elections before April 2013. It also invites the Malian authorities transition negotiations "credible" with groups in the north, mostly Tuareg, which dissociate the "terrorist organizations" controlling this region, including Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and Mujao .
"MUCH REMAINS TO BE DONE"
On the military level, it will be first, along with political reconciliation efforts to reconstruct the Malian army and train troops pan that will be part of the force - called the International Mission of Support in Mali (Misma) - to make ready to conquer the north.
But it will require the Security Council considers himself "satisfied" with the readiness of the force, from certain specific criteria (training, effective command structure, equipment, terrain adaptation), before that it can be deployed in the North. The Council stressed the importance of "reducing the impact of this military operation against the civilian population", a concern expressed by the Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and organizations such as Human Rights Watch.
"It is a step, much remains to be done on the ground and in New York," admitted the French ambassador to the UN, Gerard Araud, who noted that the resolution "favored political dialogue." "Our text is not a declaration of war, it is not the choice of the military option," he said. The military offensive in the North "will only intervene at the appropriate time, once the political process will have its effect."
For the UN Special Envoy for the Sahel, Romano Prodi, on tour in West Africa, the preparation of an armed action must be "credible" and must identify "any means to seek peace before to begin military action. " The financing of the military operation, which is expected to cost at least $ 200 million per year (about 151 million) according to diplomats, is not completely settled. A portion of the bill (about $ 30 million) should be supported by the EU, while the United States should provide essential logistical needs of Misma.
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