W. African force ready for Mali action

Updated 14 November 2012

W. African force ready for Mali action

PARIS: A West African military force assembled to intervene against Mali rebels is ready to be deployed as soon as the United Nations issues a green light, a senior official at the center of the preparations claimed yesterday.
“The military force is fully ready. Once the UN gives the go-ahead, deployment can start immediately,” Kadre Desire Ouedraogo told journalists here.
Ouedraogo, a former prime minister of Burkina Faso, is the president of the commission, or permanent secretariat, of the 15-nation Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
His comments contradicted the skepticism expressed by some military experts on the readiness of ECOWAS to send in a force capable of sweeping rebels out of northern Mali, a vast desert area that has fallen under the control of Al-Qaeda-linked militants.
ECOWAS leaders meeting in Nigeria agreed on Sunday to deploy a force of up to 3,300 men. A detailed plan of action, backed by the African Union, is due to be presented to the UN by the end of the month.


Academic detained in Iran for 2 years returns to Australia

Updated 27 November 2020

Academic detained in Iran for 2 years returns to Australia

CANBERRA: Academic Kylie Moore-Gilbert has arrived back in Australia and will soon reunite with her family after more than two years in an Iranian prison.
Moore-Gilbert was met by public health officials and members of the Australian Defense Force after disembarking from a plane at Canberra Airport.
Foreign Minister Marise Payne has said that Moore-Gilbert will have to quarantine before reentering.
The British-Australian academic from Melbourne University was freed earlier this week after 804 days behind bars on spying charges. She was released in exchange for three Iranians who were held in Thailand.