Connect to share and comment

Sahel leaders urge support for Mali

Leaders in Africa's Sahel region called on Saturday for further efforts to support Mali as they announced new funds to back a West African force in the country. Gathered in Chad, leaders from the Community of Sahel-Saharan States (CEN-SAD) called in a statement for "support for the ongoing political, diplomatic and military process in order to achieve final stability in Mali."

EU frees 20 mln euros to restore stability in Mali

The European Union on Friday announced fresh aid worth 20 million euros to help restore law and order in Mali as well as the return of basic state services such as education after months of trouble. The aid comes on top of a quarter-billion-euro EU package to also be released as authorities move to restore democracy in the beleaguered west African nation.

Canada extends Mali airlift

Canada will continue providing airlift support for French troops in Mali until at least mid-March, Canadian Defense Minister Peter Mackay announced Thursday. Last month, Canada sent a C-17 military jumbo transport aircraft to support France in its operation against north African Islamist rebels, moving almost one million pounds (454 tonnes) of French military equipment to Bamako. That effort was already approved up until Friday this week, and MacKay said it will now continue until March 15.

Mali villagers detain two youths with suicide vests

Villagers near the city of Gao in northern Mali on Saturday detained two youths alleged to have had explosives strapped to their bodies near the site of a suicide attack the previous day claimed by Islamist rebels, a witness said. "We arrested two young men early this morning. They had explosive belts and they were riding on two donkeys," Oumar Maiga, the son of the local village chief, told AFP. He said the pair, an Arab and a Tuareg, were detained some 20 kilometres (12 miles) north of Gao, the largest city in the north, on the same road where Friday's attack occurred.

Fleeing Mali Islamists seen in Sudan: Darfur rebel

Islamists fleeing advancing French forces in Mali have been spotted in Sudan's troubled Darfur region, a Sudanese rebel commander told AFP on Friday. "We saw them," said Abdel Wahid Mohammed al-Nur, commander of a Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) faction which is fighting Khartoum's troops in Darfur. "After they were defeated they withdrew from there and came to make our stronghold, Jebel Marra, as their base," he told AFP.

Islamic states back efforts to regain Mali territory

Islamic states said on Thursday they support efforts to help Mali "regain its territorial integrity," in an apparent reference to France's military intervention in the African country. In the final statement of the 12th summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, delegates stressed "firm support for current efforts by Mali to regain its territorial integrity and its authority over all national territory." The text does not explicitly mention French military operations in Mali.

France aims to have Mali UN force in place by April

France is aiming to have the United Nations take over peacekeeping operations in Mali by April, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on Wednesday. Fabius told journalists France was working to have the current African-led mission put under the umbrella of the United Nations and confirmed France was planning to begin drawing back its troops in March. He said the African-led AFISMA force already being established in Mali would be in a position to take over as a UN force.

France to begin Mali troop withdrawal in March: Fabius

France expects to begin withdrawing its soldiers from Mali "starting in March, if all goes as planned", French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said in a newspaper interview to be published Wednesday. "I think that starting in March, if all goes as planned, the number of French troops could be reduced," Fabius told the daily Metro. Nearly 4,000 French soldiers are currently deployed in Mali in an operation against Islamist militants.

Germany to send military doctors to Mali

Germany announced Tuesday it would send around 40 military doctors to Mali in addition to personnel it already promised last week, Defence Minister Thomas de Maiziere said in a newspaper report to be published Wednesday. "Germany has agreed to send around 40 military doctors as no other state said it was ready to do so," Maiziere said in an extract of the interview in the daily Tagesspiegel. The decision was taken during talks on Mali in Brussels Tuesday with representatives from the United Nations, African Union and a number of governments and aid groups.

1,800 Chadian soldiers securing Mali's Kidal: France

About 1,800 Chadian soldiers have entered the northern Mali city of Kidal to "secure" what was the last stronghold of Islamist rebels, the French defence ministry said on Tuesday. A ministry official said French forces, now numbering 4,000 in Mali, also took control and were securing the city's airport following paratrooper reinforcements. The official said French air strikes against rebel positions in the Kidal region had hit 25 targets in recent days, "mainly logistical depots and training centres" in the areas of Aguelhok and Tessalit.
Syndicate content