West Africa leader urges Mali intervention

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Associated Press

Posted on September 17, 2012 at 8:02 AM

Updated Monday, Sep 17 at 8:02 AM

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast (AP) — The president of the West African bloc of nations says it "can no longer hesitate" to combat terrorism and criminality in northern Mali, which was overrun by Islamists.

Earlier this month, Mali's interim government requested military intervention, including aerial support and five battalions but leaders of a March coup, who retain considerable influence in Mali's capital Bamako, have previously opposed foreign intervention.

In his remarks, Desire Kadre Ouedraogo, president of the Economic Community of West African States, said Monday it is important for political and military authorities in Mali to speak "with one voice" on the proposed intervention. Foreign ministers opened a meeting in Abidjan Monday to discuss details of the deployment, which has yet to be approved by the U.N. Security Council.

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