- Category: Africa
- Published Date
- Written by Reuters
The UN Security Council is expected to reach an agreement in two to three weeks to deploy up to 6 000 peacekeepers in Mali to help stabilise the country after a rebel incursion, a senior UN official said on Tuesday.
The 15-nation council initially appeared reluctant to send its own blue-helmeted peacekeepers to the West African nation, and instead backed an African-led force that was due to deploy later this year.
But France’s decision to send its own soldiers in to fight Islamist rebels in northern Mali in January rendered that plan moot, diplomats told Reuters in January.
UN peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous told Reuters on Tuesday a consensus was now emerging in Security Council discussions to deploy a peacekeeping force “at the appropriate time”.
“I think the Security Council will be looking at a resolution in the next two or three weeks and then we can move ahead for full deployment,” Ladsous said in Dublin.
About 4 500 French troops have pushed back advances made by Islamists rebels who seized the northern two thirds of the country last year.
France said it moved in to stop the militants turning the country into a base for militant attacks across the region and beyond. It added it wanted the mission to be replaced gradually by a force with a UN peacekeeping mandate by April.—Reuters