Malians express dismay at intervention timeframe

By the Associated Press | December 21, 2012 | 4:33 AM EST

BAMAKO, Mali (AP) — Malians living under the grip of al-Qaida-linked militants are expressing dismay that it could be nearly a year before a regional military intervention to oust the Islamists.

The U.N.'s most powerful body on Thursday authorized an African-led International Support Mission in Mali, to be known as AFISMA. It, however, made no mention of size and set no timeline for military action.

U.N. peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous said recently he does not expect a military operation to begin until September or October of next year.

Hamadada Toure, a teacher from the city of Gao, urged the international community to follow through swiftly on its pledges to help free the north.

He says if the Islamists are not chased from power, the mobilization of the international community is only a bluff.