January 14, 2013

Regarding the Jan. 12 editorial “Saving Mali”:

I applaud The Post for recognizing the need for nations to finally come to the aid of Mali as the peaceful West African country, with its rich history and thriving recent experiment in democratic governance, faces perhaps its darkest hour. It has been difficult to understand why the world essentially turned a blind eye to Mali’s suffering over the past year.

I also agree with The Post that the French military intervention is only part of a much wider international effort needed to stabilize Mali over the longer term. Once Mali recovers its territorial integrity, it will need help in organizing elections to restore constitutional governance and in building a more responsible and effective national army to beat back terrorist threats and defend the country’s territory and institutions.

Finally, I hope that Mali’s friends and partners will actively work with the country’s future democratic government to reduce extreme poverty and promote sustainable economic development to prevent Mali’s youth from being seduced by Islamist radicals.

Sammy Kum Buo, North Potomac

The writer, a national of Cameroon, served as director for West, Central and North Africa in the U.N. Department of Political Affairs from 2007 until 2012.

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