Author Topic: U.N. says Mali still precarious, future peacekeepers need equipment  (Read 332 times)

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Via Reuters:

(Reuters) - Armed groups in Mali continue to pose a serious security threat to the entire region while African troops forming the core of a U.N. peacekeeping mission deploying next month are not yet properly equipped, the U.N. chief said in a new report.

France launched a massive military campaign in January which broke al Qaeda-linked Islamist fighters' control over the northern two-thirds of Mali and allowed the Tuaregs to regain control of their traditional fiefdom of Kidal.

But U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a report to the Security Council on Saturday that despite the gains made by French troops, Malian security forces and an African force known as AFISMA, the situation continues to be precarious.

"The situation on the ground remains ... fluid, with sporadic clashes between armed groups and continued asymmetric attacks across the three regions of the north," Ban said in the report, obtained by Reuters.

"Furthermore the advance of the MDSF (Malian defense and security forces) northwards towards Kidal and the fatal clashes with MNLA (separatist Tuareg) elements on 5 June have exacerbated tensions and increased the volatility of the situation in the region," it said.

To reduce those renewed tensions, Mali's government and Tuareg separatists began talks on Saturday that both sides said they hoped would lead to a ceasefire ahead of national elections next month and pave the way for a permanent peace deal.

More at link.
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