Malians cautiously welcome approval of UN force

April 26, 2013 - 8:29 AM

BAMAKO, Mali (AP) — Many Malians say they cautiously welcome the news that a United Nations peacekeeping force will be deployed to their country.

Some question how successful the U.N. mission will be given the limited scope of its mandate.

The U.N. Security Council on Thursday authorized the deployment of a U.N. force of more than 12,600 people to help promote peace in the volatile West African nation.

But the U.N. peacekeepers are not authorized to undertake offensive military operations or chase jihadists in the desert.

Daouda Sangare, an entrepreneur in Bamako, questioned how much the peacekeepers would do to protect civilians.

Mali was plunged into crisis by a March 2012 coup that allowed radical Islamic fighters to seize control of the north.

A French-led military operation to oust them was launched in January.