UNITED NATIONS: France, which is battling Islamist militants in Mali, will not formally propose setting up a UN peacekeeping force to take over until at least April, the French UN ambassador said yesterday.
France sent troops to Mali in January to halt an Islamist advance on the capital and force rebels out of cities they had seized in the north of the country.
French and Chadian forces are now embroiled in a guerrilla war there.
France’s UN envoy Gerard Araud said the UN Security Council had yesterday agreed to send a letter to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon asking for a study on ‘the modalities and conditions for the creation of a peacekeeping force.’
The report will have to be ready by the end of March, and Araud said the Security Council would then start negotiating setting up the force.