UN to vote on Sahel force after Franco-US deal

Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger agreed in March to set up a special counter-terrorism operation of 5,000 troops for the Sahel region.

UN to vote on Sahel force after Franco-US deal

World Bulletin / News Desk

The UN Security Council will vote Wednesday on a draft resolution that would pave the way for the deployment of a five-nation African military force to fight extremists in the Sahel region.

The vote was scheduled for 1400 GMT after France reached a deal with the United States on the proposed measure, which welcomes the deployment but does not give it full UN authorization, according to the agreed text seen by AFP.

In a first text circulated two weeks ago, France had requested that the Security Council authorize the G5 force to "use all necessary means" to combat terrorism, drug trafficking and people smuggling.

The United States however had opposed UN authorization for the force, arguing that it was not legally necessary and that the mandate was too broad and lacking in precision.

The new draft resolution "welcomes the deployment" of the G5 force "with a view to restoring peace and security in the Sahel region" and drops a provision that invoked chapter 7 of the UN charter, which authorizes the use of force.

The United States had argued that a simple statement welcoming the regional force would have been sufficient, but France insisted that a full resolution was needed in line with a request from the African Union.

"We're pleased to have reached agreement with our French friends," said a spokesman for the US mission to the UN. "The outcome is a resolution that welcomes the deployment of troops that has caused so much suffering in the region."

French Ambassador Francois Delattre said the amended text was "stronger in terms of the support" it is expected to receive from council members, in a reference to US backing for the draft.

"This resolution will send a strong, very strong signal that the Security Council is united and firm against terrorism in the Sahel," Delattre told reporters.

"Such a force is more than ever needed in this region."

Last Mod: 21 Haziran 2017, 14:57
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