Dlamini-Zuma, Hollande discuss Mali unrest

Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma says the AUC will continue pressing for peace to get al-Qaeda out of Mali.

AUC chairwoman Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. Picture: Jacoline Prinsloo/GCIS

PRETORIA - African Union Commission (AUC) chairwoman Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma on Wednesday said the continental body would continue pressing for peace - while preparing for war - to get al-Qaeda out of Mali.

She was speaking in Paris, after talks with French President Francois Hollande.

On her first European visit as AUC chair Dr Dlamini-Zuma met with Hollande, who has taken a leading role in pressing for a return to constitutionality in Mali - where Al Qaeda-linked Islamists are trying to impose Sharia law over the northern part of the country, broken off after a coup earlier this year.

Dr Dlamini-Zuma said efforts for a negotiated settlement would persist.

She said they would try and convince armed Malian groups to join negotiations and accept a "united Mali".

But if her plan fails, a force from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) will step in to help the Bamako government restore control.