UN takes action to help reunify Mali

Associated Press

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. Security Council has authorized military action to help reunify Mali but is demanding progress first on political reconciliation, elections and the training of African forces.

A resolution adopted unanimously by the U.N.'s most powerful body stresses that there must be a two-track solution, political and military, to try to wrest control of the north — an area the size of Texas — from al-Qaida and hardline extremists.

The resolution authorizes an African-led force to support Malian authorities in recovering the north but sets benchmarks before the start of offensive operations, beginning with progress on a political roadmap to restore constitutional order.

It also emphasizes the further military planning is needed before the force is sent to the north and asks Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to "confirm in advance the council's satisfaction with the planned military offensive operation."