UNSC approves creation of Mali peacekeeping force

By REUTERS
April 25, 2013 17:33




UNITED NATIONS - The UN Security Council unanimously approved on Thursday the creation of a 12,600-strong peacekeeping force in Mali from July 1, which will be supported by French troops if needed to combat Islamist extremist threats in the West African country.

France, aided by some 2,000 troops from Chad, began a military offensive in January to drive out Islamist fighters, who had hijacked a revolt by Mali's Tuareg rebels and seized two-thirds of Mali.

The UN peacekeeping force - to be known as MINUSMA - will assume authority from a UN-backed African force deployed there to take over from the French. Most of the African force, known as AFISMA, are likely to become peacekeepers, diplomats say.


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