New York - The UN Security Council urged African regional
organisations and the United Nations on Friday to present within 45 days
a specific plan for military intervention in Mali to help government
troops reclaim the north of the country from Islamist extremists.
The 15-nation council unanimously passed a French-drafted resolution in
a bid revive stalled attempts to deal with the crisis, which it warned
could destabilize the wider, turbulent Sahel region - a belt of land
spanning nearly a dozen of the world's poorest countries on the southern
rim of the Sahara.
Mali descended into chaos in March when
soldiers toppled the president, leaving a power vacuum that enabled
Tuareg rebels to seize two-thirds of the country. But Islamist
extremists, some allied with al-Qaeda, have hijacked the revolt in the
In the resolution the council expressed "grave concern
about the continuing deterioration of the security and humanitarian
situation in the north of Mali, the increasing entrenchment of terrorist
elements including al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, affiliated groups
and other extremist groups, and its consequences for the countries of
the Sahel and beyond".