UN approves military action to oust al-Qaida in Mali

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UN approves military action to oust al-Qaida in Mali

UNITED NATIONS — The U.N. Security Council on Thursday authorized military action to wrest northern Mali from the control of al-Qaida-linked extremists but demanded progress first on political reconciliation, elections and training African troops and police.

A resolution adopted unanimously by the U.N.’s most powerful body stressed that there must be a two-track plan, political and military, to reunify the country, which has been in turmoil since a coup in March.

The Security Council authorized an African-led force to support Malian authorities in recovering the north — an area the size of Texas — but set no timeline for military action. Instead, it set out benchmarks to be met before the start of offensive operations, beginning with progress on a political roadmap to restore constitutional order.

The resolution also emphasizes that further military planning is needed before the African-led force is sent to the north.

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