AU's Peace and Security Council to discuss military blueprint for Mali intervention force Wed.

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (PANA) - The African Union's Peace and Security Council will meet in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Wednesday to discuss the military blueprint for the African-led international force in Mali, PANA reported Monday, quoting AU sources.

The sources said the military plan, contained in the harmonised Concept of Operation for the deployment of the force that was adopted by West African leaders at their emergency summit in Abuja, Nigeria, Sunday, has already been forwarded to the continental body.

The Concept is expected to be forwarded to the UN Security Council as soon as the AU's Peace and Security Council adopts it.

''Our intention is to get all the processes done with within the 45 days stipulated by the UN,'' the sources told PANA.

On Sunday, Heads of States and Governments of the 15-member regional bloc adopted the Concept of Operation, drawn up ECOWAS with the assistance of experts from the AU, European Union and the UN.

In their communique, the leaders requested the AU's Peace and Security Council ''to endorse the Concept and ensure its transmission, together with the Strategic Concept, to the United Nations Secretary General within the deadline stipulated in Resolution 2071''

They also urged the UN Security Council to examine the Concept ''with a view to authorising the deployment of the international military force in Mali in conformity with chapter VII of the UN Chapter''.

PANA learnt that under the concept, the 3,300 troops which ECOWAS had initially planned to deploy to Mali is to be expanded to 5,500, with the remaining troops being contributed by countries outside the regional bloc.

ECOWAS leaders have said they will continue to employ both negotiation and military intervention to end the political and security crises in Mali, even though the spectre of military intervention is looming larger.

“While we engage in dialogue and negotiations with some groups that control northern Mali, we will continue with preparations for military action against terrorist and criminal groups that are holding the population hostage in northern Mali,” ECOWAS current Chair and President
of Cote d’Ivoire, Alassane Ouattara, said in Abuja Sunday.

Mali was plunged into crisis in the aftermath of the 22 March military coup and the seizure of the north of the country by separatist and terrorist groups.
-0- PANA SEG 12Nov2012

12 november 2012 20:32:07

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