France has circulated a draft resolution at the United Nations to transform the African-led International Support Mission to Mali (AFISMA) into a UN mission for the Stabilization of Mali, the French foreign ministry said on Tuesday.
The spokesperson for the French Foreign ministry, Philippe Lalliot, said in Paris that this was at the request of Malian authorities, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union (AU).
The future UN-led force, which will be chaired by a special representative of the UN Secretary General, will comprise 11,200 soldiers, 1,440 policemen, as well as civilian experts.
“We hope talks that are going on with our partners of the Security Council will result in a resolution before late this month. On the ground, the transformation of AFISMA into UN-led force could be effective from July,” Mr Lalliot said.
Its mandate would consist of helping the Malian authorities stabilize the country and re-establish the rule of law all over the territory, support them to hold elections and carry out national inclusive dialogue.
The UN-led force will, in addition, supervise the efforts made to reorganize the Malian security forces, in close coordination with the European Union Mission and European Union Training Mission, which has been established to reorganize the Malian army.
Mr Lalliot said France was willing to back the future UN stabilization operation by contributing troops.
France intervened in Mali last January after a coup in the West African country in March 2012 saw jihadists taking advantage to seize large swathes of northern Mali.
The French-led African force has helped to drive the jihadists out of key cities in northern Mali including Timbuktu and Gao.