Thousands who fled northern Mali when rebels seized power, now feel safe enough to return home. Many have spent months in exile, pushed out last year when Tuaregs joined with Islamist armed groups. France sent troops to help rout the rebels in January, and is now planning a gradual withdrawal.
French Defense minister Jean-Yves Le Drian arrived in Gao, Mali, to address French troops and officers along with their African counterparts. Le Drian’s visit Friday comes as a gradual withdrawal of more than 4,000 French troops from northern Mali gets underway, after they intervened to stop a rebel advance in January. A U.N peacekeeping force [...]
French and African forces have driven rebels out of their strongholds in northern Mali. But what Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb left behind may prove to be valuable. Equipment such as artillery, explosive devices, and even posters carrying their logo are clues to their operations.
The United Nations World Food Program has issued a warning on the humanitarian situation in northern Mali, where cities like Timbuktu are struggling to access food amid growing security threats for NGO workers on the field.
France has started pulling its troops from Mali – the first step in handing over operations to a United Nations-approved African force. The French had anticipated a short campaign against Islamist insurgents in January – but now plan to keep one thousand troops by the end of the year.
In Mali, the national military – backed by French intervention forces – is fighting an Islamist resurgence in the country’s north. Rebel fighters have launched a series of attacks on the city of Timbuktu. Former Ethiopian diplomat Mohamed Hassan says France is locked in a power struggle for influence in Africa.
As the French operation in Mali extends beyond two months, Ban Ki-moon, secretary-general of the United Nations, today proposed an 11,200-strong peacekeeping force in Mali that could maintain security after the French leave. Ban proposed that the UN force would work alongside non-UN forces to conduct major combat and counterterrorism operations. “Although the extremists and [...]
Malian forces pushed back rebels attacking a major town after two hours of fighting Saturday. Working with French-led allied troops, the Malian army recaptured Gao in January after months of occupation by Islamist extremists. Members of the Movement for the Oneness of Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) enforced strict Shariah law during the occupation of [...]
A fourth French soldier has been killed in Mali during a reconnaissance mission near Gao, the main city in the north. And former President Nicolas Sarkozy criticized the French intervention, claiming that it is only serving to “support putschists.” Brigadier Wilfred Pingaud, 37, who was a member of an artillery regiment, was killed on Wednesday [...]
As troops from France and Chad comb through the mountains of northern Mali, picking off Islamist rebels who are hiding out in a region they have long called home, the forces scored a major victory with the killing of Abdelhamid Abou Zeid, one of the most important leaders of Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). [...]