UN Secretary-General says African force in Mali should become peacekeepers

An African force currently in Mali should be converted into a UN peacekeeping operation and a separate combat force should be created to confront Islamist threats, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon recommended to the Security Council on Tuesday, March 26.

The UN-backed African force in Mali is due to take over from France when it starts withdrawing its 4,000 troops from the country in late April.

Ban recommended that the African force to become a UN peacekeeping force.

He also recommended that a parallel force should be created tackle Islamist extremists directly and which would work in close coordination with the UN mission.

“Given the anticipated level and nature of the residual threat, there would be a fundamental requirement for a parallel force to operate in Mali alongside the UN mission in order to conduct major combat and counter-terrorism operations,” Ban wrote.

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