Mali's President asks the help of France for a military operation against Islamist rebels 1101131

a
 

Defence News - Mali

 
 
Friday, January 11, 2013, 08:59 AM
 
Mali's President asks the help of France for a military operation against Islamist rebels.
Mali's president has asked France for help countering an offensive rebel groups who control the northern half of the country and are heading south. Mali has requested military aid from France after Islamists drove the army out of the northern town of Konna on Thursday, January 10, 2013, in the worst fighting the country has seen since militants took control of the north in April.
     
Mali's president has asked France for help countering an offensive rebel groups who control the northern half of the country and are heading south. Mali has requested military aid from France after Islamists drove the army out of the northern town of Konna on Thursday, January 10, 2013, in the worst fighting the country has seen since militants took control of the north in April.
The Mali army attacked Islamist rebels with heavy weapons in the center of the country which divides the insurgent-held north and the government-controlled south, government officials said Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013.
     

Mali asked for military help from France after residents of the strategic northern town of Konna said Islamist rebels drove out the Malian army on Thursday, the fiercest fighting since militants took control of the country’s north nine months ago.

The fall of Konna, about 600 km (375 miles) northeast of the capital Bamako, was a major setback to government forces, which said earlier on Thursday they were making headway against the alliance of al Qaeda-linked rebels.

The U.N. Security Council convened emergency consultations in New York and agreed on a statement in which the members “express their grave concern over the reported military movements and attacks by terrorist and extremist groups in the north of Mali, in particular their capture of the city of Konna.

French U.N. Ambassador Gerard Araud confirmed receipt of a request from the Malian government for military assistance and said the “nature of the response to the letter will be announced in Paris tomorrow.”

     
Islamist armed group Ansar Dine, among the groups occupying the north of Mali for nine months, has taken control of the central Malian city of Kona in Mopti province.
Islamist armed group Ansar Dine, among the groups occupying the north of Mali for nine months, has taken control of the central Malian city of Kona in Mopti province.
     
Western and regional governments are keen to dislodge the Islamists from a desert zone of northern Mali larger than France, which they captured in April, amid concerns they may use it as a launch pad to stage attacks.

Konna was the last buffer between the rebels and Mopti, about 50 km (30 miles) south, which is the main town in the region and is seen as the gateway to the country’s north.

After hours of gun battles, heavily armed Islamist fighters paraded in triumph through Konna’s centre, saying they would push on to take Mopti and its neighbouring town of Sevare, residents said.
 

Cookies settings

×

Functional Cookies

This site uses cookies to ensure its proper functioning and cannot be deactivated from our systems. We don't use them not for advertising purposes. If these cookies are blocked, some parts of the site will not work.

Session

Please login to see yours activities!

Other cookies

This website uses a number of cookies to manage, for example: user sessions.