France wants UN peacekeepers for Mali

France has circulated a draft United Nations resolution that would authorise a UN peacekeeping force to stabilise key towns in northern Mali and help promote a return to democracy and extend government authority throughout the conflict-wracked country.

Mali was plunged into turmoil after a coup in March 2012 created a security vacuum. That allowed secular rebel Tuaregs, who have long felt marginalised by Mali’s government, to take half of the north as a new homeland. But months later, the rebels were kicked out by Islamic jihadists who imposed strict sharia law in the north, including amputations for theft.

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