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.
Progress of offensive could impact Mosul campaign timing with army, militias advance on Tikrit from south and east. The Prime Minister has said that says civilians, homes to be protected
Spokesperson for the Revolutionary Forces in Aleppo accused UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura of working in the interests of the Assad regime.
Britain may force sale of licenses to third party with deal valued at RWE DEA at 5.1 bln euros and British assets worth about 1 billion euros
Dispute over Afghan refugees in Pakistan has caused a rift between two neighbors that have recently shown signs of warmness in their usually cold and tense ties.
The Lebanese army said an Israeli gunboat violated Lebanese coastal waters.
Egypt said it has unearthed the rest house of Thutmose II in the northeast of the country
A series of attacks occured on areas linked with the Shiite Houthi group in Yemen
Myanmar authorities liberate the photojournalist arrested for Facebook post after three days
Myanmar President Thein Sein discussed constitutional changes and the first election with Aung San Suu Kyi
Egypt court adjourned the designation of Qatar and Turkey "state sponsors of terrorism"
More than 1,000 more arrest warrants issued as government seeks to break down barriers against polio vaccination.
The Boston Marathon suspect will stand trial on Monday for a hearing to finalise last matters related to his charges.
Judge told El-Alloul that she had two choices: either remove her headscarf or apply for a postponement in order to get legal advice.
The UN head has said that investigations have shown that Iran is still holding onto important information regarding their atomic programme and that the investigation cannot continue indefinitely.
Jordan PM Abdullah Ensour changed some ministers included minister of education, energy, endustry and trade..
US Secretary of State John Kerry has said that either Russia must help with ceasefire deal or face sanctions.