Scrolling news:

Palestine: Gaza casualty toll on the rise, Israeli strikes continue on day 20

Palestine: Eight Palestinians killed, dozens wounded Sunday

Eid moon sighting possiblities, Muslims in South Africa have declared Eid

Pakistan: More rain with thunder, lightening forecast in next 24 hours in Rawalpindi

Libya: US embassy evacuated after heavy violence

Palestine: List of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces between July 8 to July 27

Palestine: Two Palestinians beaten by Jewish mob in Jerusalem

Palestine: Reports show murder of 3 Israeli teenage settlers was not carried out by Hamas

Palestine: Remains of 85 Palestinians located under rubble of bombarded homes

Palestine: Ten Palestinians killed by Israeli forces in West Bank

Palestine: At least 15 kidnapped by Israeli forces from West Bank

Palestine: Palestinians pull over 140 bodies from under Gaza rubble, total killed 1000

Lebanon: Nasrallah: Israel on a path towards “suicide” in Gaza

Palestine: Two Palestinians killed as tens of thousands protest Israeli assault across West Bank

Palestine: Amid Gaza ceasefire calm, at least 40 dead bodies are found

Palestine: Entire 20 members of one family in Gaza killed prior to ceasefire, as death toll tops 940

Palestine: Seventeen killed in early morning hours of Friday

Palestine: Israeli forces invade Azzun in W Bank, use Palestinian civilians as human shields

Palestine: 931 Palestinians from Jerusalem & inside Israel taken captive in 3 Weeks

Saudi Arabia behind effort to disarm the Palestinian Resistance

UN Security Council approves Mali peacekeeping force

26th Jun 2013

The United Nations Security Council has given the green light for a peacekeeping force to be deployed to Mali. The force is expected to face an array of unprecented challenges, with sweltering desert heat among them.

Officials on Tuesday said that unanimous approval had been given for a UN peacekeeping force – to be known as MINUSMA – to take charge of security in Mali from the beginning of July.

France is set to formally hand over security duties to the UN on Monday, although at least 1,000 French troops will remain in Mali to carry out anti-terrorism operations.

“There was unanimous agreement by Security Council members that we should move to the next phase of Mali’s recovery with the deployment of MINUSMA from July 1,” said the president of the Security Council, British ambassador Mark Lyall Grant.

It is expected that the 11,200-strong peacekeeping force will reach its full operational capacity by the end of December this year. The UN force will face the initial task of securing elections slated for July 28.

However, UN envoy to Mali, Albert Koenders – addressing the Security Council by videolink from the Malian capital, Bamako – said there would be “major challenges” to holding the election on time. Among the challenges, he said, were maintaining a broad political consensus on the elections and registering the thousands of people both internally and externally displaced.

The poll has been made possible after the interim government signed an interim peace agreement with the Tuareg rebels on June 18. As part of the deal, Malian forces are set to return to the northern town of Kidal, which has been held by rebels. The peacekeepers would also be expected to implement a ceasefire in the town.

Murders and looting

Human rights violations by both government troops and Tuareg rebels have been reported, including extra-judicial executions, looting and illegal arrests.

UN head of peacekeeping Herve Ladsous briefed the council, saying that the overall operation would require careful oversight and preparation. Among the particular difficulties facing the force are withering temperatures, which could cause problems with equipment. Concerns also exist about water supply.

At present, the force – which is to operate in a country twice the size of France – also faces a lack of aircraft. MINUSMA is to initially comprise of some 6,100 West African and Chadian troops already stationed in Mali.

“We are facing new and unique challenges,” Ladsous said. “The United Nations is deploying a peacekeeping operation in a new geopolitical context with asymmetric threats not previously encountered.”

The UN on Wednesday vowed it would screen all Chadian troops set to become a part of the mission, to ensure that no child soldiers were part of it. The country has appeared on a UN list of nations where underage fighters have been recruited to fight by government forces.

French troops were deployed to Mali in January to oust radical Islamist fighters who had taken over the north of the country after hijacking a Tuareg uprising there, imposing Shariah law.

rc/jm (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)


Comments are closed.

Sectarianism in the Middle East and its rise in the UK, Standpoint, Sahar TV. Interview 29 May 2013 and aired on 12 June 2013

Latest Tweets

The Muslim News


Awards for Excellence

Read more