Newspaper article International Herald Tribune

U.S. Acts to Unite Allies to Oust Rebels in Northern Mali ; Clinton Visits Algeria to Help West African Countries Mount Mission

Newspaper article International Herald Tribune

U.S. Acts to Unite Allies to Oust Rebels in Northern Mali ; Clinton Visits Algeria to Help West African Countries Mount Mission

Article excerpt

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton arrived as the U.S. sought to coordinate support for an international effort in northern Mali, which has emerged as a haven for terrorists.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton arrived in Algeria on Monday as the United States sought to coordinate support for an emerging international effort to push Islamic militants out of northern Mali.

"One of the things that the secretary wants to talk about is how we would see this working," a senior State Department official said before a meeting between Mrs. Clinton and the Algerian president, Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

An array of Islamist militant groups have seized control of northern Mali, including Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. Northern Mali has emerged as a haven for terrorists.

This month, the U.N. Security Council adopted a resolution underscoring its "readiness" to send an international force to evict the militants in response to a request from the government of Mali.

While a military plan has yet to be drafted, the basic idea is for forces from Nigeria and other West African countries to help the Malian military mount a campaign against the militants. France, the United States and other countries would help with training, intelligence and logistics.

American and French officials have met in Paris to discuss how to cope with the security situation in Mali, and Mrs. Clinton's trip to Algeria follows a similar visit by the French foreign minister.

American officials indicated that they were not asking Algeria to send troops to Mali but wanted to discuss the role it might play while West Africans and the Malian military provide the "boots on the ground." Algeria is a regional power and neighbors Mali to the north, and its political support for such a campaign is essential, diplomats say.

Algeria, which waged a brutal war against militants in its own country, also has one of the strongest militaries in the region, as well as an active intelligence service. …

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