US President Barack Obama will visit Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania in June, the White House has said.
The West African Civil Society Forum (WACSOF) says it would have preferred to have Dr. Mohammed Ibn Chambas appointed as the UN’s envoy to the troubled Sahel region.
UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon last month appointed former Italian Prime Minister, Romano Prodi to be his envoy to Mali.
WACSOF has lauded the intervention of the AU to send in some 3,000 troops to Mali and also described the UN’s request for more time as having the potential to negatively affect the intervention.
President of WACSOF, Jibrin Ibrahim presented the civil society’s position in a communiqué issued at the end of a trwo day West African Civil Society Forum held in Accra.
He said WASCOF would have preferred that Dr. Ibn Chambas would have been a better candidate since he is widely respected and known across the African continent.
Islamist groups Ansar Dine and MUJAO, believed to have links to al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, have taken control of the ancient towns of Gao and Timbuktu in the Northern part of Mali after violent clashes with the MNLA, a former ally that in April helped them oust the Malian government from the north.
They have applied Sharia law to the region, and have since destroyed seven sacred sites in the ancient town of Timbuktu, including a sacrosanct door leading to an internal shrine in the 15th century Sidi Yahia mosque.