Every effort has to be made to resolve the situation in Mali because of the repercussions it has for wider security in west Africa, writes Desmond Davies
Now that UN Security Council UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has recommended conditional backing for a one-year African Union (UN) mission against Islamist militants in Mali, it means that there is no turning back. The Economic Commission of West African States (ECOWAS), backed by the African Union (AU), had presented the UN with a plan to send troops into the troubled north of the country, which was annexed in January by the Tuareg-dominated National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA).
The MNLA has been fighting for years for self-determination. The rebellion it launched in January delivered a string of early victories against a demoralised Malian army and enabled the MNLA to proclaim an ‘independent Azawad’ on April 6, setting up a Transitional Council of the State of Azawad (CTEA).