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Ban Ki-moon meets Mali FM as UNSC authorises troops
April 26, 2013, 2:24 pm


France will begin a phased withdrawal of its 4,500-strong contingency in Mali [Xinhua]

UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon on Thursday met with the foreign minister of Mali, Tieman Coulibaly, to discuss the political and security situation in the West African country.

Prior to the meeting the UN Security Council unanimously voted to authorise about 12,600 international troops and police to undertake a peacekeeping mission in Mali.

During the meeting, the secretary-general and Mali’s foreign minister “exchanged views on the implementation of Security Council resolution 2100 (2013), which authorised the deployment of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MINUSMA),” UN spokesman Martin Nesirky told reporters.

“They discussed the political, human rights and security situation in the country, including preparations for the holding of free, fair and credible elections,” he said.

“The secretary-general reiterated the commitment of the United Nations to work closely with the Malian authorities to support inclusive political dialogue, protect and promote human rights and ensure the protection of the civilian population,” the spokesman added.

The UNSC authorised the blue helmets “to use all necessary means” to carry out security-related stabilisation tasks, protect civilians, UN staff and cultural artefacts, and create the conditions for the provision of humanitarian aid.

France will begin a phased withdrawal of its 4,500-strong contingency which will see 1,000 troops left in the country by the end of the year.

MINUSMA’s core task is to support the political process in Mali, in close coordination with the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

Source: Agencies