UN deputy chief says no green light yet from Mali for UN peacekeeping force

The U.N. deputy secretary-general says the government of Mali has not given a green light yet for a U.N. peacekeeping operation in the troubled west African nation.

Jan Eliasson told a group of reporters Monday that there appears to be growing agreement — including from the African Union and west African regional group ECOWAS — for a U.N. force but "there is still hesitation from the government of Mali."

Last week, France asked the Security Council to consider establishing a U.N. peacekeeping operation in Mali, a move that reinforced its plan to send French troops home as soon as military operations end.

Eliasson noted skirmishes between different parts of Mali's army last week. But despite Mali's hesitation, he said he thinks the trend is toward approval of a U.N. force.