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Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Malian Government
Officials from Morocco, which has avoided the chaos of the Arab Spring, told their U.S. counterparts over the weekend that the North African kingdom's "human-centered" approach to counterterrorism and security could be a model for the Middle East and all of Africa.
Mali will need all the international support it can get to successfully conduct elections in July, the country's first since an international military intervention helped the West African nation beat back a takeover by Islamic extremists in the North, a Mali official said Monday.
The State Department on Tuesday named an Islamic extremist leader in Mali as a "specially designated" international terrorist, a sign of deepening U.S. involvement in the war against al Qaeda and its allies in Africa.
It is critical to stability in the Maghreb and the Sahel region that terrorism in Mali be dealt with, both militarily and politically. The current situation in Mali cannot be separated from the issues in the Maghreb and the Sahel.
The Obama administration has requested $32 million dollars to help African troops push back Islamist fighters. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland confirmed the request on Friday.
The chaotic end of Algeria's hostage crisis at a natural-gas plant in the Sahara on Thursday highlights the broad front on which Islamic extremists can strike back against France's military intervention in Mali.