UN supports France Mali intervention

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) says it supports France’s recent military intervention in the West African nation of Mali.

According to France’s UN Ambassador, Gerard Araud, a meeting of the 15-member UNSC on Mali expressed “understanding and support” for the military intervention on Monday.

On Sunday, French fighter jets pounded rebel bases in the cities of Gao and Kidal in northern Mali.

According to reports, French warplanes also launched an attack on the rebels’ stockpiles of munitions and fuel in the town of Afhabo, about 50 kilometers (30 miles) from Kidal.

The UN also said that 30,000 people had fled the fighting.

Also on Sunday, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius announced that Algeria had authorized the overflight of its territory, allowing French warplanes to use its airspace for conducting bombing strikes on the north of the West African country.

US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has also backed the French intervention in Mali, saying that his country is willing “to provide whatever assistance” needed in the bombing campaign.

Chaos broke out in the African country after Malian President Amadou Toumani Toure was toppled in a military coup on March 22, 2012. The coup leaders said they mounted the coup in response to the government’s inability to contain the Tuareg rebellion in the north of the country, which had been going on for two months.

SZH/HN