UN holds emergency Mali talks as rebels advance



Agence France Presse

Published — Friday 11 January 2013

Last update 11 January 2013 7:28 pm

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

UNITED NATIONS: The UN Security Council on Thursday held emergency talks on Mali amid growing international alarm over advances by radical Islamist forces.
The Islamists earlier claimed the central city of Konna and diplomats said they were closing in on another key town on the route to the capital Bamako from their stronghold in the north of the country.
UN under-secretary general Jeffrey Feltman briefed the 15-nation council after permanent member France called the meeting.
The Security Council last month unanimously approved sending an African-led intervention force to help reconquer territory in northern Mali that rebels and the Al-Qaeda linked militants seized in March.
An advance by the Islamists into government-held territory is a new blow to efforts to contain the radical armed groups who western governments fear could set up a terrorist safe haven in Mali.
Political tensions in the capital Bamako, where military officers who staged a coup last March still hold considerable influence, doubts about the 3,300 strong African force and about funding for any military operation have all clouded preparations to take on the Islamists.
UN diplomats said a force of about 1,200 Islamist guerrillas are 20 kilometers (12.5 miles) from the town of Mopti in central Mali.
The rebels earlier took Konna in what French UN mission spokesman Brieuc Pont called a “terrorist offensive” in a tweet from inside the Security Council meeting.
Mopti is 460 kilometers (286 miles) northeast of Bamako, but with government forces seemingly powerless against the offensive, diplomats have expressed concern the rebels could just bypass Mopti and head for the capital.

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

Arab News Editor in Chief Mohammed Fahad Al-Harthi hosted a banquet for editors in chief of local print and online publications, Shoura Council members, representative of the Ministry of Culture and Information, prominent writers and columnists in Je...
JEDDAH: Health workers from Riyadh’s National Guard hospital would not be allowed to perform Haj this year, or work at the holy sites, the Ministry of Health has announced.Hail Al-Abdali, head of the ministry’s infection control unit, was reportedly...
RIYADH: Construction on the multibillion-riyal Riyadh Metro is well under way with several giant drilling machines working overtime to ensure that underground tunnels for the project are completed on schedule.The Arriyadh Development Authority (ADA)...
JEDDAH: Officials from the Saudi Ministry of Haj have been holding meetings with their counterparts from Arab and South Asian nations in preparation for this year’s pilgrimage.Abdulrahman bin Ali Al-Nafei, assistant deputy minister of Haj and in char...
RIYADH: Four polling stations in Tabuk have stopped registering voters for the Dec. 12 municipal elections in the region.Ibrahim bin Ahmed Al-Ghabban, undersecretary at the Tabuk municipality and member of the local committee for the election of a mu...
JEDDAH: Many prospective candidates running for seats on the country’s municipal councils have been using Twitter to boost their election campaigns.Many have been using religious expressions in their messages, such as “In the name of God,” and “If He...
DAMMAM: There has been a flurry of activity on the Kingdom’s highways as service companies race to meet the Jan. 19 deadline for the revamp of dilapidated gas stations.The Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs has previously handed out rehabilitati...
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia and Germany have signed an agreement on mutual protection of classified information to provide a legal framework for enhanced cooperation in the defense sector. The pact was signed by Mohammed bin Abdullah Al-Aish, assistant mini...
JEDDAH: While Saudi Arabia has now arrested the main suspect in the 1996 bombing of the Alkhobar Towers residence at an American military base in the country, the hunt continues for three others, according to reports in the local media on Thursday.Ah...
AL-AHSA: Located in the western part of Al-Qara Mountain is a workshop for the pottery industry, molding clay in plastic forms that are given permanency by the use of intense heat. This art form became one of the major attractions in Al-Ahsa Archaeol...
RIYADH: A newborn baby boy, who appeared to be just hours old, was found lying in the grass, covered with a blanket, in an abandoned field in Jazan on Tuesday morning.According to local residents, a family passing by heard the baby crying and rushed...
TAIF: Several schools in Taif have recorded a lack of schoolbooks for primary and intermediate classes for the first time in 15 years, a local publication reported.This has resulted in many boys and girls not turning up for classes. A source said tha...
RIYADH: Justice Minister Walid Al-Samaani said that directives from Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman to protect the rights of citizens and public properties are being strictly implemented.“All legal measures are being taken to hold accou...
RIYADH: Najran region has retained its veritable unique cultural heritage and attractions, which include old mud buildings constructed some 300 years ago.While the laid-back ambience in many areas is gone due to modern life brought about by contempor...
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia, under Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman’s wise leadership, has witnessed an accelerated pace of economic growth with improved living standard of its people, says Uzbekistan Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Alisher Kadirov....

Stay Connected

Facebook