ICANN Board of Directors will vote on Thursday whether to redelegate the country-code top-level domain for Mali to a new registry operator, according to a report Friday by DomainIncite.
As the conflict in northern Mali gets worse, ICANN must decide which registry operator should control the .ml domain. Currently, it is controlled by Societe des Telecommunications du Mali, a publicly traded telecommunications provider, but it is not possible to register a .ml domain at this time, DomainIncite says.
While ICANN is trying to be a more transparent in terms of how it communicates with stakeholders, it does not publicize reasons for a redelegation until it gets approval from the board, and IANA publishes a redelegation report.
In September, ICANN met to discuss the redelegation on the domain representing Mali to the Agence des Technologies de L’Information et de la Communications.
“The main issue is whether all the local stakeholders have agreed that this agency is the most competent one to manage this domain,” Lance Hinds, CEO of South American ICT company BrainStreet said in an email posted in the At Large community. “Governments, especially our neck of the woods tend to see this is an income stream and in may cases have tried to control it.”
The situation in Mali has worsened, and according to Reuters, the International Committee of the Red Cross fears that in the coming months civilians will be cut off from aid and basic services as it becomes harder for agencies to contact armed Islamist groups and determine territory control to get security guarantees.
“The current violent extremism happening in Mali will no doubt impact on the ALS in Mali which is in this instance ISOC Mali. There is a lot of displacement and food crises and our thoughts continue to be with you,” Salanieta T. Tamanikaiwaimaro, director of Pasifika Nexus, an IT consultancy in Fiji, said in an email. “It is also great to see countries like the US provide funds to assist Mali in this hard times. We hope the ALS ISOC Mali and its members are well.”
Also on the main agenda for next week’s ICANN meeting include the delegation of .укр domain representing Ukraine.
Talk back: Have you been following the crisis in Mali? Who do you think the .ml domain should be redelegated to? Let us know in a comment.