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DAKAR: The international community has ramped up efforts to help Mali drive radical Islamists from its north, with the African Union taking the nation back into its fold in its bid to curb the extremist threat.
Western powers are helping the pan-African bloc draw up plans for a military intervention to be presented to the United Nations in late November, offering logistical support rather than troops to help Mali recover its territory.
The African Union, which suspended Mali after a March coup that led to the country’s rapid implosion, on Wednesday re-admitted it despite a lack of cohesion in Bamako, where an interim regime has failed to assert itself. Observers have warned of significant challenges as countries in west Africa remain divided over whether military intervention is the best approach.
“Malians and the international community alike need to redouble efforts to address the prevailing situation in the north,” urged Nkosozana Dlamini-Zuma, chairperson of the AU commission at a meeting in Addis Ababa on Wednesday.
The African Union endorsed a plan urging the “restoration of state authority of the northern part of the country”, an area larger than France which was seized by Al Qaeda linked extremists in the wake of the coup. AFP