New York - France has circulated a draft UN resolution backing an international military force to assist Mali's army in ousting Islamic militants who seized the northern half of the country and are turning it into a terrorist hub.
The draft, obtained on Tuesday by the Associated Press, gives the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon 30 days to submit "detailed and actionable recommendations" to recover the occupied territory.
It says the UN chief should build on the existing joint planning efforts of the West African regional group Ecowas and the African Union and immediately provide the UN military planners to assist the two organisations in helping to prepare his report.
It says he should also consult with Mali's neighbours, international organisations and other interested parties.
Mali's democratic government was ousted in a military coup in March.