Peacekeeping force for unsettled Mali gets unanimous UN vote

by ptinti

CS Monitor

Resolution 2100 has French troops replaced by blue helmets and at least half the UN force will be from Africa. Al Qaeda-linked militants are still fighting in Mali’s northern mountains. 

The United Nations Security Council today unanimously approved the creation of a 12,600-strong peacekeeping force for Mali.

The pending arrival of blue helmets to the country is a sign that France, its African allies, and the broader international community are eager for the next phase of an intervention that began in January as a limited air campaign against Islamist rebels, but quickly escalated into a full-scale ground war.

Resolution 2100, proposed by France, calls for a force that would consist of 11,200 troops as well as 1,440 police to stabilize a country rocked by political instability and war over the last year.

Though the French-led intervention initially succeeded in driving the rebels from the towns and cities once under their control, serious questions remain regarding the extent to which northern Mali has actually been secured.

In the wake of several attacks – including suicide bombings – on Mali’s northern cities, both outside analysts and Malians wonder if the Islamist rebels have been defeated.

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