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.
Dias Kadyrbayev is one of three friends of convicted bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev due to be sentenced next week for interfering with the investigation into the bombing
The governor was blamed for Mosul's fall to ISIL in June 2014
15 Chinese nationals have been charged with developing a fraud scheme for college entrance exams.
Macedonia has agreed to take part in the Turkish gas stream project once Russia and Brussels reach an agreement on the strategic project
S.Africa's police minister said that President Jacob Zuma will not be liable to repay money spent on controversial security upgrades to his rural home, part of a project that cost over $20 million.
The influential Catholic church in Burundi have withdrawn their support from the elections.
Colonel Gulmurod Khalimov who has been missing since late April, has defected to ISIL
Both Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders have agreed to open further crossing points and to merge their electricity networks.
Special security has been tightened ahead of 'high-risk' Euro 2016 qualifier between Israel and Bosnia
The Moroccan suspect had been detained at the Ras Ajdir crossing on the Libyan border.
The South African government on Thursday denied accusations that it had paid a $10-million bribe to host the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
A draft report concerning OPEC's long-term strategy, forecast crude supply from rival non-OPEC producers would grow at least until 2017.
Creditors are doubtful as Greece predicts bailout deal by Sunday with lenders.
The ministry said on its website that the three had been sentenced to prison for three, six and ten years respectively for "conspiring" with Israeli security agencies.
US Vice President Joe Biden has blasted Russian President Putin and has said that 'Helping Ukraine against Russian aggression is critical to checking further aggression down the road,'
Speaking before meeting the G7 finance chiefs, IMF director Christine Lagarde said there was still a lot of work to do before Greece and its int. lenders could clinch a cash-for-reforms deal.