UNITED NATIONS, Aug. 9 (UPI) -- U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Mali is getting worse and urged the U.N. Security Council to consider sanctions against those behind the conflict.
Supporters of the military coup that toppled the civilian government in Mali this year expressed concern about insecurity in the north of the country. Foreign fighters and Ansar Dine, a militant group with ties to al-Qaida, have since taken control over the north, however.
Ban told the Security Council the crises presented a "deeply troubling situation."
"I encourage the Security Council to give serious consideration to the imposition of targeted travel and financial sanctions against individuals or groups in Mali engaged in terrorist, religious extremist or criminal activities," he said.
A delegation from Burkina Faso met with Ansar Dine figures this week to find a solution to the crisis. Ban, however, said "no meaningful" dialogue had commenced between the Malian government and insurgent groups in the north.
"I strongly encourage the government of Mali to develop an overarching political strategy to return the country to constitutional order and re-establish State authority in the north," Ban said.