World Bulletin/News Desk
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told the Security Council on Friday he wants former Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi to be his envoy to the troubled Sahel region, where West African states seek U.N. backing for military intervention in Mali.
"I would like to inform you of my intention to appoint Mr. Romano Prodi (Italy) as my Special Envoy for the Sahel," Ban said in a letter to the 15-nation council, obtained by Reuters.
"Mr. Prodi has a long and distinguished career in government and international diplomacy as a consensus-builder, having served as Prime Minister of Italy and President of the European Commission for several years," he wrote to the president of the council, Guatemalan U.N. Ambassador Gert Rosenthal.
Rosenthal informed fellow council members in an accompanying letter that he would acknowledge Ban's decision to appoint Prodi if no objections were presented to him by Tuesday at 10 a.m. EDT (1400 GMT).
Mali descended into chaos in March when soldiers toppled the president, leaving a power vacuum that enabled Tuareg rebels to seize two-thirds of the country.
The conflict in Mali has also exacerbated a deteriorating humanitarian and security situation in the turbulent Sahel region - a belt of land spanning nearly a dozen of the world's poorest countries on the southern rim of the Sahara - where millions are on the brink of starvation due to drought.
West Africa's regional body, ECOWAS, has mapped out a three- phase operation to help Malian troops recapture the north, and Mali's interim leader, Dioncounda Traore, asked the Security Council earlier this month to authorize the force.
Council diplomats say ECOWAS needs to present a more coherent and comprehensive plan for military intervention in Mali before they authorize it.
French U.N. Ambassador Gerard Araud said on Thursday that he would shortly circulate a resolution to energize the African response. It would not yet authorize a military intervention by an international force, but would instead set a deadline for ECOWAS and the African Union to provide the Security Council with details of the operation.
ECOWAS has intervened militarily in past African conflicts, including the wars in Liberia and Sierra Leone.
About 2,000 demonstrators gathered on the main road outside parliament for a second day, hours after talks on an end to the turmoil finally got going.
Poroshenko is scheduled to see Putin in the Belarussian capital Minsk on Aug. 26 at a meeting that will also include top leaders of the European Union and of the Russian-led Customs Union.
Widodo will be able to speed up his preparations ahead of taking office on Oct. 20. He is expected to soon resign as Jakarta governor to focus on the transition.
Iraq said that sending Yazidis to the occupied region of Nagorno-Karabakh would be a breach of Azerbaijani territory.
Freak accident prompts state minister to direct officials to provide medical aid.
Under a decree, the position of the Commissioner was established to preserve and develop ethnic, cultural, linguistic and religious identity of the Crimean Tatar people within Ukraine.
Ukraine's governing coalition collapsed on July 24, and the dissolution stemming from that event will set up a parliamentary election in late October.
Counselling centers in jails where convicted terrorists will receive intensive religious and welfare counselling in order to de-radicalize those believed to be holding 'extremist' view will also be set up.
Tunisian aviation officials gave no explanation but Libyan news agency LANA said Cairo airport authorities had cancelled flights to and from the neighbouring country for security reasons.
The French force was caught up in fighting between militias and the country's separate European Union force (EUFOR), which locals had accused of shooting a man dead.
Cricketer turned politician warns police chief "I will even punch you personally" if protesters are harmed.
The convoy has been stuck at the Russia-Ukraine border for a week because Ukraine is worried that it could be used to deliver military supplies to pro-Russian separatists
Around 500 people a day have been fleeing Luhansk, a pro-Russian separatist stronghold that has been battered by months of fighting, but some have been caught in the crossfire while attempting to leave.
Hamas political chief Khaled Meshaal said: "We will not give up until Palestinian demands – at the top of which is lifting the Gaza siege – are fulfilled."
The report also touches on Iran's covert operations abroad, citing that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF) along with the Lebanon-based Hezbollah have been actively fighting in Syria and neighboring Iraq.
Up to 600 CEOs and investors were due to visit the Scottish city of Glascow as part of a delegation sent by Fortune 500 Company vice president Richard Cassini.