* Benin president says terrorism international problem
* Harper concerned but not planning direct military mission
OTTAWA, Jan 8 (Reuters) - The head of the African Union,
Benin President Boni Yayi, called on Tuesday for a global
coalition to intervene against Islamist rebels in northern Mali,
but Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said he had no plans
to join the U.N.-sanctioned force.
The capture of the northern two-thirds of Mali by Islamist
groups has sown fears that it could become a center for radicals
to plot international attacks, and Yayi said terrorism was an
international problem that required an international response.
"It's not...a purely African question. It's a world
question, an international question," Yayi told a news
conference with Harper after their ministers signed a foreign
investment protection agreement.
Harper said Canada would provide humanitarian aid and
signaled great concern about the situation, but said: "The
government of Canada is not considering a direct Canadian
The 15-nation U.N. Security Council in December unanimously
authorized the deployment of an African-led military force to
help defeat al Qaeda and other Islamist militants in northern
(Reporting by David Ljunggren and Louise Egan; Editing by
Cynthia Osterman; Writing by Randall Palmer)