. Africa News .

Mali to form 1,200-strong elite force to protect transition
by Staff Writers
Bamako (AFP) July 9, 2012

Mali's transition government on Monday announced the creation of an elite force of 1,200 troops to protect the leaders of the country's embattled interim regime.

"Under the direct authority of the president, these special forces will assure the security of the head of state, the prime minister, the speaker of the national assembly and other state institutions," said a statement from the communications ministry.

The communique added that the formation of the special force was in line with the wishes of leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) who met in Ouagadougou on Saturday.

The special force will be formed with the most recent graduates from the schools of police and para-military police.

The statement said Prime Minister Cheick Modibo Diarra had asked countries friendly to Mali to assist in "perfecting the training of this elite corps and reinforcing its logistical and material equipment."

He recently visited Algeria, France and Morocco.

This was done in agreement with transition president Dioncounda Traore, who has been in Paris for over a month since a violent attack in his office by a mob opposed to him taking over from the junta.

The new force should be in place "as soon as possible", said the statement.

West African leaders who met in Ouagadougou urged Traore to ask "without delay" for ECOWAS and the UN to approve the sending of an African force to Mali, notably to protect the president when he eventually returns.

However a source close to Traore said he wanted to be protected by Malians out of "national pride."

The interim government was put in place for 12 months and took over in April from a military junta which ousted the previous leaders on March 22.

It has proved unable to deal with the takeover of the country's north by Islamist fighters who took advantage of the chaos after the coup to seize key northern towns.

They have enforced strict Islamic law, destroyed ancient cultural treasures and along with other armed groups have been accused of serious rights abuses and war crimes.

The top ECOWAS mediator, Burkina Faso's President Blaise Compaore, told the meeting of politicians, religious and trade union leaders that a new government must "confront the terrorist peril in the north".

At the Ouagadougou meeting, ECOWAS leaders gave Diarra until July 31 to create a "unity government" that can provide a clear timeline to exit the crisis.

If not, ECOWAS would no longer recognise the government of Mali and the country would be suspended from sub-regional groups.

Meanwhile on Monday two west African mediators in the Malian crisis arrived in Paris to meet with Traore, who has been in the French capital seeking treatment after his attack on May 21.

Burkinabe Foreign Minister Djibrill Bassole and Ivorian Minister of African Integration Ally Coulibaly would discuss the outcome of Saturday's summit with Traore, their entourage said.

Related Links
Africa News - Resources, Health, Food

Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
Buy Advertising Editorial Enquiries


. Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Developing world has less than five percent chance of meeting UN child hunger target
London, UK (SPX) Jul 06, 2012
Insufficient progress has been made in most developing countries to meet the United Nations' target of halving the proportion of children who suffer from hunger by 2015 compared with 1990 levels, according to a systematic analysis of data on children's height and weight, published in Lancet. Although the nutritional status of children under five has improved overall since 1985, one in five infan ... read more

US drought hits global grain outlook: FAO

Vertical farm in abandoned pork plant turns waste into food

Screening horticultural imports: New models assess plant risk through better analysis

Scientists urge new approaches to plant research

China's Three Gorges Dam at full capacity: Xinhua

Natural climate change shut down Pacific reefs: study

Laos vows to address Mekong dam fears

Climate change suspended reef growth for two millennia

Researchers able to better pinpoint history of droughts through exploration of tree rings

Relief in sight as killer heat scorches US

Pre-industrial emissions make a difference

Rising heat at the beach threatens largest sea turtles

Clean cookstoves unaffordable to Bangladeshi women

Swiss firm wins $120m power station contract in Iraq

New clean energy bank to turbo-charge investment

AREVA inaugurates the world's first hydrogen backup power system for Data Centers

Denmark can triple its biomass production and improve the environment

Researchers tap into genetic reservoir of heat-loving bacteria

Prairie cordgrass: Highly underrated

New loo turns poo into power

Fukushima was 'man-made' disaster: Japanese probe

Aussie patrol boats are 'under pressure'

Japan Diet to publish Fukushima disaster probe

Jakarta, Canberra boost asylum cooperation

Nitrogen pollution changing Rocky Mountain National Park vegetation

Plastic pollution reaching surprising levels off coast of Pacific Northwest

Novel clay-based coating may point the way to new generation of green flame retardants

Lab-on-a-chip detects trace levels of toxic vapors in homes near Utah Air Force Base

Brazil OKs Amazon iron ore mining project

Paraguay-Venezuela row deepening

China steel mill scraps Brazil plant: report

US online-deals firm eyes road less traveled

Memory Foam Mattress Review

Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News


The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2012 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement