The African Union Peace and Security Council, meeting in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa Saturday, warned that Islamists in northern Mali are intent on creating a new sanctuary for their activities.
AU Chairman Jean Ping called the situation one of the “most serious crises to confront the continent.” And AU Commissioner for Peace and Security Ramtane Lamamra said the strengthening of the grip of terrorist and criminal groups poses a serious threat to international peace.
Radical Islamists overtook the Mali's vast northern desert in the wake of a rebellion launched by Tuareg separatists.
The AU is working with the regional bloc ECOWAS and the U.N. to support Mali's interim government, installed after a March 22 coup, and to discuss options for confronting the Islamist insurgency. VoA.