The United Nations Security Council has passed a resolution to impose sanctions on the Islamist fighters in Mali who have desecrated the tombs of Muslim saints.
Reports from AFP, Al Jazeera and Star of Africa state that Resolution 2056 passed by the Security Council calls upon all U.N. member states to place sanctions on groups and individuals who have connections, or are colluding with the Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb group.
Digital Journal has reported on the destruction of tombs of Muslim saints in the northern Malian city of Timbuktu by that group and its associates. This new Security Council resolution has warned these groups that such actions would be referred to the International Criminal Court which will press criminal charges against them.
In Mali's capital Bamako today 2,000 people staged a sit-in protest at the Independence Square monument, where they called for the army to intervene in the north of the country, where the Islamist fighters are attempting to impose Sharia on residents there by force.
In response to this live threat to Mali the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has announced that they have 3,300 troops on standby that could be ready to help the interim government in Mali retake the north of the country and reassert control. The UN Security Council has stated it is ready "to further examine the request of ECOWAS once additional information has been provided regarding the objectives, means, and modalities of the envisaged deployment."
Diplomats of the respective West Africa nations who are eager to support an intervention against these Islamist fighters in northern Mali have stated the details of the force and the action they intend to take will be provided in the next few days.