UN approves Mali military intervention

African Union Commission chief Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma addresses the AU Peace and Security Council on October 24, 2012 in Addis Abada. The AU Peace and Security Council met today to discuss the ongoing negotiations between Sudan and South Sudan and the continued crisis in Mali, where al Qaeda-linked rebels have taken over much of the country's north following a coup in March.</p>

African Union Commission chief Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma addresses the AU Peace and Security Council on October 24, 2012 in Addis Abada. The AU Peace and Security Council met today to discuss the ongoing negotiations between Sudan and South Sudan and the continued crisis in Mali, where al Qaeda-linked rebels have taken over much of the country's north following a coup in March.

The United Nations Security Council has unanimously approved plans for an African-led military force to help reunify Mali, the BBC reported.

Groups with ties to Al Qaeda staged a military coup in March in the country's north.

The resolution, approved Thursday in New York, is a plan for "political reconciliation" that includes training security forces to oust Islamists in northern Mali and planning for future elections, Al Jazeera reported.

Under the UN plan, the force has an initial one-year mandate, the BBC reported. It specified taking "all necessary measures" to establish control from "terrorist, extremist and armed groups."

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The Economic Community of West African States, also known as Ecowas, has assembled 3,300 troops for the mission. However, the force is not likely to be operational until next September, Al Jazeera reported.

The French-backed resolution comes after weeks of talks with the US, Al Jazeera said.