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UN chief warns against hasty military intervention in Mali

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon (file photo)

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has warned against a hasty military intervention in northern Mali, saying it could lead to a humanitarian crisis.

“I am profoundly aware that if a military intervention in the north is not well conceived and executed, it could worsen an already fragile humanitarian situation and also result in severe human rights abuses,” Ban said, adding that a military operation should be seen as a last resort in helping the government in its battle with militants.

“Fundamental questions on how the force would be led, sustained, trained, equipped and financed remain unanswered,” the UN chief said.

On October 13, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution that gave the AU and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) 45 days to present the details of a plan for a military intervention in Mali.

Chaos broke out when Malian President Amadou Toumani Toure was toppled in a military coup on March 22. The coup leaders said they mounted the coup in response to the government’s inability to contain the two-month-old Tuareg rebellion in the north of the country.

However, in the wake of the coup d’état, the Tuareg rebels took control of the entire northern desert region, but the Ansar Dine extremists pushed them aside and wrested control of all the northern desert regions.

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