Ban Ki-moon calls for action to resolve crises in Syria and Mali

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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (right) with UK Prime Minister David Cameron. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

The United Nations Secretary-General on Thursday appealed to world leaders to help end the crises in Syria and Mali.

Addressing the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Ban Ki-moon said the military confrontation in Syria is exerting a tremendous toll on the civilian population with over 60,000 people killed.

He stressed that the crisis must be resolved by political means and reiterated his call on governments to stop sending weapons to the Syrian government and the opposition fighters.

On Mali, Mr. Ban warned that the country is under grave threat from armed insurgents, adding that more than 350,000 people have fled their homes.

"Mali has called for help in restoring its constitutional order and territorial integrity.  France has taken an important decision to deploy troops following the troubling move southward by extremist groups.  The African-led International Support Mission for Mali , called AFISMA, is taking shape, organized by ECOWAS with support from the African Union and other troop contributors."  (29")

ECOWAS is the Economic Community of West African States.

Mr. Ban said the United Nations is fully committed to helping Mali in its hour of need.

He said that assistance will necessarily run from security efforts to those in the humanitarian and political areas.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1'31"

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