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UN calls for sanctions against al Qaeda-linked Mali rebels
The United Nations Security Council passed a resolution on Thursday calling for sanctions against rebels linked to al Qaeda in northern Mali, but did not give a mandate to a proposed West African force to intervene.
AFP - The UN Security Council on Thursday passed a resolution calling for sanctions against Al-Qaeda-linked fighters in Mali blamed for the desecration of the tombs of Muslim saints.
But the council held back from giving a UN mandate to a proposed West African force to help the interim government to take back territory from Islamist rebels in the north of the country.
The 15-nation council unanimously passed Resolution 2056 which called on UN states to submit names of individuals and groups linked to Al-Qaeda "notably in the north of Mali."
Islamist fighters have destroyed the tombs of several Muslim saints in the northern city of Timbuktu. The resolution warned that the desecration could lead to International Criminal Court charges.
West African nations have been pressing for UN backing for a proposed intervention force they want to send to Mali, where a military coup on March 22 was followed by the rebel breakthrough in the north of the country.
The council called on West African states to provide more information about the objectives and means of the proposed force before it could act.
The resolution noted the request by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union to give a UN mandate to the force.
The council said it was ready "to further examine the request of ECOWAS once additional information has been provided regarding the objectives, means and modalities of the envisaged deployment."
African diplomats said details on the force would be provided within days.