WASHINGTON (AP) — The top US military commander in Africa is warning against any premature military action in Mali, even as al-Qaida linked extremists strengthen their hold on the north.
Army Gen. Carter Ham says any military intervention done now would fail and would set the situation there back.
The African Union and United Nations are discussing the funding, troops and other assistance necessary that Ham said would play out in the coming weeks.
Ham said Boco Haram is receiving financial support, training and explosives from Al Qaida in the Islamic Mahgreb, and "the relationship goes both ways."
Ham noted that Libyan mercenaries have been sending heavy weapons into Mali. With that, he said, it's not unexpected to see militant training camps and increased terrorist recruiting efforts there.