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Humanitarian situation in Mali can aggravate – PACE

January 21, 2013, 17:12 UTC+3
Migrants, who are trying to save the lives from Islamists, can overflow into the neighbouring countries and the south of Europe
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STRASBOURG, January 21 (Itar-Tass) — The conflict in Mali can be fraught with drastic humanitarian consequences, chairman of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Jean-Claude Mignon said on Monday.

Speaking at a press conference devoted to the openness of the PACE winter session, Mignon said as a French deputy, he supported France’s intervention in Mali in order to restore the country’s territorial integrity and curb terrorism.

The Mali crisis can lead to drastic humanitarian consequences, the PACE chairman said.

In his view, migrants, who are trying to save the lives from Islamists, can overflow into the neighbouring countries and the south of Europe due to the aggravation of the conflict.

Earlier, the PACE Bureau took a decision to hold urgent debates on the situation in Mali and Algeria. The debates will take place on Thursday, January 24, deputy head of the Russian delegation to the PACE Leonid Slutsky said.

The chairman of the Russian State Duma Committee for the CIS Affairs said a decision to this effect had been taken at the PACE Bureau.

“The debates will be held on Thursday, January 24. A resolution will be adopted after the debates,” Slutsky said.

The conflict in Mali broke out in the spring 2012 when a group of military revolted in Bamako. Tuaregs and armed Islamic groups used the putsch and got under control the vast territory.

In the beginning of January France started the anti-terrorist operation in Mali. Almost 2,000 servicemen and hardware were involved in the operation. Last week France jointly with the Mali security forces began moving to the north in order to wrest ground from Islamists.

In response Islamists threatened France. Last week they attacked a gas facility in Algeria. Terrorists demanded the Algerian authorities withdraw France’s allowance to use air service for flights to Mali where the French contingent conducted the operation against Islamic militants.

The last weekend the Algerian army ended the operation to release hostages. According to the Algerian Interior Ministry, at least 23 hostages were killed. A total of 32 terrorists were neutralised.


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