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UN backing Mali elections by the end of July
Associated Press
2013-02-09 05:01 AM
The U.N. political chief says the United Nations will be working hard to help Mali hold "credible and legitimate" elections by the end of July, a key to restoring civilian rule in the troubled west African nation.

Jeffrey Feltman told reporters Friday that the French-led military intervention was welcome and crucial to restoring the unity of the country, but he said stabilizing Mali will also require reconciliation between feuding political actors.

Feltman said the roadmap recently announced by President Dioncounda Traore and approved by parliament, which includes a national dialogue and elections, recognized that Mali needs to get the political track moving to go hand-in-hand with the security track.

France launched a military operation Jan. 11 against Islamist extremists who controlled northern Mali and had started moving south.

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