BAMAKO - The United Nations Security Council has approved an open-ended resolution authorizing military operation to secure northern Mali from terrorist organizations. The design of this gradual intervention, authored by France and to be led by African forces (Ecowas) and supported by the UN military, has been repeatedly demanded by the African Union.
With the resolution adopted late Thursday, the intervention still does not include a starting date. Le Monde reported that it aims to free the north of the country from the Islamic extremists who invaded the region six months ago, destroying shrines and imposing Islamic law. Aqmi, Mujao and Touaregs have made major gains against the Malian army, which has been nearly decimated. The reconstruction of this national armed force is thus a priority for the UN.
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This latest decision comes shortly after President Barack Obama’s decision to end the trade privileges between the US and both Mali and Guinea Bissau. Sky News sees Obama's move as a direct result of the gains of extremists, and the backtracking on democracy in the two countries.
The BBC reports that thousands of people have fled the region to find shelter in Mauritania. The immediate consequence of this operation would drive 400,000 people out of their homes in order to minimize the casualties.