'Premature military action against Al-Qaeda in Mali would only worsen situation', says top US military brass

Last Updated: Tue, Dec 04, 2012 07:10 hrs

A top U.S. military brass overseeing operations in Africa has said that military operations to stop the growth of Al-Qaeda's influence in northern and western part of the country will only make the violent situation there worse if done prematurely.

U.S. Army Gen. Carter Ham, the commander of the U.S. Africa Command, said the region needs a well-planned, well-funded operation that is African-led to have a good chance of pushing out the AQIM extremist movement growing in northern and western Africa.

"I would caution against premature military action because of the long-term consequences," CNN quoted Ham, as saying.

According to the report, the concern shows the challenge of dealing urgently with a growing threat from Northern Mali, which has become a safe haven for Al Qadea-linked terrorists, who are gaining momentum across northern Africa.

The Al Qaeda affiliate, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, has reportedly been linked to the attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya earlier this year.

Ham said discussions among the United Nations, the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States are working out details on how to fund, supply combat forces and assist the region, and decisions from the organizations are expected in January, the report said. (ANI)

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