Peacekeeping chief gives further details about new UN stabilization mission in MaliListen /
The newly established UN stabilization mission in Mali is not an "anti-terrorist operation," UN peacekeeping chief Hervé Ladsous told journalists in New York on Thursday.
Ladsous spoke to the press moments after the Security Council unanimously voted to establish the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA).
It will take over from an African-led force already in the country, which has been grappling with numerous crises for more than a year.
In March 2011, there was a military coup. Mali has also been tackling an armed rebellion in the north. This January, the government requested French forces to intervene.
Ladsous says the UN mission will encounter "a fairly volatile environment."
"This is not an enforcement mission, this is not an anti-terrorist operation, but it is clear at the same time that in an environment which will certainly see asymmetric attacks, the stabilization mission will have to defend itself and its mandate, depending on circumstances. And the French armed forces will maintain some people on the ground with the specific mission of coming to help out in severe, in difficult circumstances, and we are going to establish the appropriate mechanism between the UN and France to see how it can best work."
MINUSMA will have a force of more than 12,000 military and police officers.
Ladsous says the UN is working with African countries on contributing troops, who will receive training in international human rights and law.
Dianne Penn, United Nations.