BAMAKO, Oct. 20 (Xinhua) -- Mali's interim President Dioncounda Traore on Friday called for lifting of sanctions against his country and insisted on the need for an urgent military intervention in the northern part of the country, which is occupied by rebel movements and Islamist groups.
"We are racing against time" Traore said regarding the issue of military intervention.
He was speaking in Bamako during the opening of a meeting of the Group monitoring the Malian situation, in the presence of the chairperson of the African Union Commission (AU), Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma.
While calling for the lifting of the sanctions, Traore said that the country's revenue had been reduced to a great disadvantage to the population.
"It's never those who govern that suffer, but the governed, this means the Malian people," Traore said.
He said that the elections will not be carried out "without a centimeter square of the Malian territory."
"Holding the elections without the occupied regions is to admit the status quo, it's an admission of the division of the country," he said.
The AU Commission chairperson said that the "biggest challenge now is to find an urgent solution to the dangerous situation that is prevailing in Northern Mali."
She reiterated that "Africa will not remain indifferent as two thirds of the Malian territory is left under the control of armed groups, terrorists and criminals."
Jan Eliasson, the UN's deputy secretary general who was also in Bamako for the meeting, announced that UN military experts will soon visit Mali to technically help the country to recover the regions that are under occupation.
Zuma says military intervention possible to end Mali crisis
BAMAKO, Oct. 20 (Xinhua) -- Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AU) Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma said on Friday that there was a possibility of a military intervention to end the crisis in Mali, whose northern regions are under occupation by rebel groups.
While speaking in Bamako before the Group monitoring the Malian situation which was set up in March by AU's Peace and Security Council, Zuma affirmed that a technical note which will be prepared in collaboration with ECOWAS, will be submitted to the AU on Oct. 24 to be discussed before it can be passed on to the UN Security Council. Full story