ICRC 'very concerned' about Mali

Oct. 22, 2012 at 12:05 PM   |   Comments

NIAMEY, Niger, Oct. 22 (UPI) -- International Committee of the Red Cross President Peter Maurer said Monday he was "very concerned" about the security situation in northern Mali.

Maurer is on a three-day mission of the Sahel region of North Africa. He said from Niger that conflict in northern Mali was having an effect on the entire region.

"The ICRC is very concerned about the conflict's effects on the people living in northern Mali," he said in a statement.

Food shortages in the region, he added, are complicating the plight of the thousands of refugees fleeing Mali to neighboring countries.

Foreign rebels and fighters loyal to al-Qaida claimed autonomy for northern Mali following an early 2012 coup. Members of the Economic Community of West African States have proposed a neutral stand-by force to help address lingering security concerns in the country.

Deputy U.N. Secretary-General Jan Eliasson told a meeting of U.N., ECOWAS and African Union officials that a credible political strategy was needed for Mali.

"Any military action must also support a coherent political strategy for the country's reunification," he said. "And for the international community to back an international military force, human rights and humanitarian law must be scrupulously respected."

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Featured UPI Collection
2014: The Year in Music [PHOTOS]

2014: The Year in Music [PHOTOS]

Most Popular
St. Paul police arrest a black man for sitting on a bench waiting for his children
Ukrainian cargo plane crashes in Algeria killing seven
'Old Ironsides' sails across Boston Harbor before 3-year-rehab
Video: Free Syrian Army unleashes 'Hell Cannon' in fight against Assad
Boy being treated for brain tumor taken from hospital
Trending News