14 Jun 2012

Prospect of war in west Africa

11:19 pm on 14 June 2012

President Mahama-dou Issoufou of Niger says he is prepared to go to war in neighbouring Mali in west Africa to resolve a rebellion there.

In London on Tuesday where he was to meet British Prime Minister David Cameron, Mr Issoufou said a "coalition of terrorists" was present in northern Mali and an anti-terrorist coalition was required to confront it.

He gave a similar message to President Francois Hollande of France in talks in Paris on Monday, the BBC reports.

Mr Issoufou said that the United Nations Security Council would give its opinion on Wednesday on the sending of an armed force to Mali.

"We are trying to preserve the integrity of Mali," the president said, although he said war would be the "last resort".

Mr Issoufou has said Afghan and Pakistani jihadists were training recruits in northern Mali.