France wants UN peacekeeping force for Mali by April

By REUTERS
February 6, 2013 21:53




PARIS - France wants the African-led military mission in Mali to be replaced with a United Nations peacekeeping mandate by April, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on Wednesday.

Having swiftly seized the main towns in northern Mali from Islamist militias in a three-week campaign, France is keen not to get bogged down in a costly long-term deployment.

"From the moment that security is assured, we can envisage without changing the structures that it can be placed under the framework of UN peacekeeping operations," Fabius told reporters.

Asked if the aim was to have this done by April, he said: "Yes. Our experts and those we are working with are aiming for that."


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