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Support for Mali intervention grows

Oct. 31, 2012 at 12:45 PM

WASHINGTON, Oct. 31 (UPI) -- Leaders from North Africa are growing frustrated with instability in Mali though there may be divisions over the best course of action, an analyst said.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with leaders in Algeria this week to press for military intervention in Mali. Foreign and Islamic rebels, some of which have ties to al-Qaida, claimed autonomy for northern Mali in political upheavals this year.

The United Nations this month consented to a move by the Economic Community of West African States to send a neutral force into Mali to help control the situation.

Anouar Boukhars, a Middle East analyst at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, told the Los Angeles Times that Algerian leaders were starting to "come around" to some form of military action in Mali.

"(Mali's) neighbors are troubled by what is happening," said Boukhars. "There's this precedent that a separatist group can create its own state and get away with it. There's a growing sense that something has to be done. The question is, 'How to do it?'"

The U.N. Security Council gave regional and international diplomats until the end of November to come up with a plan for military intervention. ECOWAS has proposed a 3,000-soldier strong force.

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