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West Africans threaten force if Mali talks break down

DAKAR — Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan said Wednesday that regional troops would definitely intervene in Islamist-occupied northern Mali if negotiations with the extremists failed to yield a solution.

“Diplomacy or negotiation is the first; military intervention is extreme. When negotiation fails, that is the time you can talk about military intervention,” Mr. Jonathan said on a 24-hour visit to Senegal.

He said the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) would also need a United Nations mandate before stepping in.

“ECOWAS will definitely intervene militarily, but … first and foremost, we are negotiating,” said the Nigerian leader after talks with Senegalese President Macky Sall.


Minister: Ecuador won’t put Belarus dissident in jeopardy

QUITO — Ecuador’s deputy foreign minister says his government will treat Belarus’ extradition request for a former police investigator with the same respect for human rights that he said guided the country in the case of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Marco Albuja told reporters Wednesday that if Ecuador finds Aliaksandr Barankov’s life would be at risk at home, either from the death penalty or life in prison, it will apply the same criteria it did in granting asylum to Mr. Assange.

Mr. Barankov won political-refugee status after arguing that he fears being killed in prison if sent home because he unearthed high-level corruption involving relatives of President Alexander Lukashenko. Mr. Barankov was arrested and jailed in Ecuador shortly before Mr. Lukashenko visited in June.

From wire dispatches and staff reports