PARIS – The Ivory Coast president says military intervention in Mali is "inevitable" within weeks, if there's no quick change in the West African country where Islamist extremists rule the north.
Alassane Ouattara said in an interview published Sunday in the French weekly Le Journal du Dimanche the intervention force would likely include soldiers from Niger, Nigeria and perhaps countries such as Chad — with logistical help from France and the United States. He defined logistical help as material support and counselors but added that combat aircraft are needed.
Ouattara heads the West African regional bloc ECOWAS which secured Mali's consent for an intervention at a meeting last week in Ivory Coast.
The proposal for an approximately 3,000-member force still needs approval from the U.N. Security Council, which France leads starting Wednesday.