Tuesday, January 15, 2013


Allegations of Torture, Disappearances and Executions Surface in Mopti
(Translated from MALIWEB//1/16/2013//2020PST)

NORTHERN FRONTIER--"A Mopti is the manhunt. Surveys have shown that the Islamists have representatives in the city. The army has a unit that conducts surveys. Some are arrested and shot, "says the phone inhabitant of this city of over 100,000 inhabitants, located on the Niger River, in the center of the country.
The rumors are growing about Malian army abuses against people suspected of belonging and intelligence with armed Islamist groups who conquered northern Mali. The inhabitants of the city, who preferred anonymity, said he witnessed an exaction Friday, January 11. From the road along a military camp near Mopti hospital, he saw a man being shot by the army in the camp. Some people around him told him they saw people taken to the cemetery and killed.

In the city, rumors have reported dozens of cases. But nothing so far to accredit. Organizations for the defense of human rights investigating these allegations, including those reported by the resident of Mopti, have not been able so far to establish the identity of the alleged victims.
But they confirm the suspicions of the International Federation of Human Rights - FIDH, which investigates suspected cases including ten in Sévaré, a suburb of the city. Florent Geel, head of the Africa desk of the organization, said that the FIDH is "100% sure that a person accused of belonging to armed groups and jihadists who could be identified, has disappeared. Witnesses saw her being taken by the military. We think she was executed. There was no evidence yet of enforcement. We investigate the case of nine people who were arrested and summarily executed for 'intelligence' supposed Ansar Dine. " Cases have been reported in Mopti, but witnesses refused to say more organizations. "In my opinion, the phenomenon is real, even if you do not know the extent. Many different sources assert, "says he.


Since the state of emergency was declared in Mali, 11 January, the military controls have increased, particularly around Konna, Sévaré and Mopti. A Sévaré, reports the FIDH, Malian security services carry out systematic searches of passengers at many checkpoints and arrested several people from Konna including possession of weapons hidden in their luggage. "We know that people have been arrested with guns, and some are still being held. It is not known under what conditions. With the state of emergency, do not let us go into the military camps, particularly in the headquarters of the army Sévaré, where people are detained, "said Florent Geel.
Military investigating, arresting suspects come home or during checks on the street confirms the inhabitants of Mopti. All that may seem suspect to ban, as long as winter coats are usually men of the city. "It can hide weapons is suspect," says the head. From 19 hours, there was nobody in the streets, the military orders to shoot anyone who has a suspicious behavior. This hunt is suspected Islamists with the help and support of the population.


Among the organizations defending human rights, the fear is great. "This phenomenon is amplified by three considerations: the tension of the conflict, the infiltration of jihadists to Bamako and in the south, and the strong ethnic tensions between the Songhai, Tuareg, Moors and Arabs in particular. The risk of retaliation is great, especially against the Tuareg, who were seen leaving many to Timbuktu and Gao after the start of the French intervention ", warns Florent Geel.

The history of making Thursday the city of pivot Konna, located just 110 km from Mopti, illustrates the fear of infiltration. "Thursday is market day in Konna and they took advantage. Islamists disguised as shepherds, carriers, strollers to enter the city and completely overrun. Once inside, they shot at soldiers with machine guns, "says the head of Mopti. The French intervention that helped oust Islamists from Konna did not calm the fears of the people of Mopti. "It's been six days since the French army bombed and killed in Konna, but we were told that there are still rebels hiding in the city. They are willing to do anything to interfere in the population, "worries the locals. "We know that the jihadi fighters hiding among the population and have a dispersal strategy, confirms Florent Geel. This creates concern because they are not always identifiable. This can lead to ailleursdonner of burrs. '

Burrs that organizations such as FIDH apprehensive at the beginning of unrest in Mali, mainly because of the lack of preparation of Malian forces, but also in Africa. "The Malian army is not formed, including international law, warning Florent Geel. Until now, it has also failed in Mali will structure and equip the army for fear of coups against leaders, where military instability and military insubordination. Added to the national feeling of being humiliated by armed groups including Tuareg, it gives an explosive cocktail. '

Helene Salon - The Monde.fr | 01/15/2013 at 21:11


WAR ROOM--Jihad fighters, in a surprise raid in the Western Zone, overran three military structures in a camp in the small bordertown village of Diabaly over the weekend.

French aircraft targeted the Abu Zeid raiders immediately, sending them running for their vehicles parked nearby and casualties soon mounted. However, air power alone was not enough to dislodge the Abu Zeid Force 001 from the town; as they kidnapped a local official and reinforced their positions.

Today, the French Marines were on the move from nearby Niono just to the south with the objective to drive the jihadis back out into the open desert to the east, across the river, where French fighter jets can neutralize the elusive desert warriors at will.

Below, find the Battle Plan for the Retaking of Diabaly:

It is hoped that the raiders will be caught in the crossfire of advancing ground units and aircraft sorties and be unable to flee across the border to Mauritanian enclaves since that border has been sealed off by increased patrols.


Le MNLA n'existe plus militairement

PARIS - The rebel Tuareg National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA), who offered to help France, are no longer militarily, said Tuesday the Malian Minister of Foreign Affairs Tieman Coulibaly. From a military standpoint, I think the MNLA no longer exists. According to our information, the latest fighters headed towards Mauritania, made ​​weapons and vehicles and have sought refuge in Mauritania, said the Minister before the Foreign Affairs Committee of the French National Assembly.
The offer of assistance was made, I receive it with great caution. I do not know what MNLA has to offer, he added.

Tuareg MNLA rebels had said Monday AFP ready to help the French army to fight against armed Islamist groups in northern Mali, doing work on the ground, according to one of their leaders.

The MNLA, heir of different separatist Tuareg rebellions that have succeeded in Mali, was hired in December 2012 to cease hostilities and to negotiate with the Malian authorities.

The MNLA is still available in the negotiations with Bamako to find a definitive solution to the conflict between us for over fifty years, said Moussa Ag Assarid Monday, an official of the organization.

The Azawad, the name given to northern Mali currently occupied by the Islamists, is a vast arid territory of an area equivalent to those of France and Belgium combined, including the three administrative regions of Kidal, Gao and Timbuktu .

Malian Minister also considered Ansar Dine, one of the armed groups occupying the north of Mali and consists mainly of Malian Tuareg, had not the opportunity to break with AQIM if he wished.

The leader of Ansar Dine, Iyad Ag Ghaly, can not make peace. If Iyad sign an agreement with Mali, he signed his death warrant, he will be executed by the minions of the leaders of AQIM, said Coulibaly.

Malian Minister has also confirmed that he would attend the extraordinary meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels on Thursday.


Combat units on the move northward from Bamako

Graphic (c) 2013 reconpresseusa

French armored column on the move from Bamako
BAMAKO - Thirty French armored vehicles left Tuesday afternoon the airport of Bamako where they were based, on their way to northern Mali, for an unknown destination, said a journalist from AFP `.

This movement was observed at the same time hundreds of Malian and French soldiers were, themselves, road Tuesday to Diabali (400 km from Bamako), town of the west of Mali made ​​the previous day by Islamists bombed in the night Monday to Tuesday `s French aviation.

They left Niono, a town about fifty miles south of Diabali.

These movements are the first ground engagement of the French soldiers.

L `French aviation had conducted raids on 11 january
central and northern Mali, to stop the `advanced Bamako
Islamists `Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and other groups allied
which were then evacuated the cities of the North, including Gao and Timbuktu.

(Text translated from ABAMAKO//1/15/2013/1300PST)



(Translated from Jeune Afrique//1/15/2013//)

GAO--Armed Islamist groups, targeted for five days by French air raids, left the major cities of northern Mali. For some experts, what looks like a hasty retreat is in fact a well calculated strategic folds.

On the fifth day of the operation Serval, various armed Islamist groups have evacuated the cities of northern Mali that they controlled for nine months. According to many experts, this departure is more akin to a "strategic retreat" to a stampede under fire from French aircraft.

Since January 11, when the offensive against French forces, and Malian Konna, radical Islamists of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) Ansar Eddine (Defenders of Islam) and the Movement for uniqueness and Jihad in West Africa (Mujao) left several large northern cities, including Gao and Timbuktu . The situation is more uncertain in Kidal. Part of the jihadists would include folded in mountainous areas surrounding the city.

Monday, January 14, when their comrades abandoned some of their strongholds, a katiba AQIM led by the Algerian emir Abu Zeid, took Diabali locality in the west of the country after violent fighting with the Malian army. On the night of Monday to Tuesday, the French army led bombing attempt to dislodge them. At least five Islamists were killed but the city is still held by the jihadists. Ditto for Konna. First announced resumption by the Malian army, the small town near Mopti would eventually remained in the hands of those who had taken.

Jean-Charles Brisard, an expert in terrorism cases, said in an interview with AFP, the withdrawal of armed groups is actually a "strategic withdrawal" from them. According to him, they take advantage of "the vastness of the desert" of Northern Mali they are fully aware.

Radical Islamists already be anticipating the deployment of a West African Mali. "They disperse to make offensive Africa much more difficult on the ground. They disseminate to lead us into a logic of guerrilla warfare. They can prolong the conflict indefinitely, "he says.

To prevent a decline in their territory armed Islamists, Algeria closed its border with Mali and Mauritania has strengthened its patrols in the border areas. It remains difficult to control thousands of miles from the borders of Mali, especially the Islamists are content for now to move in small, highly mobile groups.

"The jihadists rely on a long-term war. They are comfortable in this situation: the great desert landforms difficult, precarious security situation, "Alaya Allani analysis, Tunisian academic, specialist in Islamist movements. According to him, "they will make a tactical retreat to catch their breath, but neither the French nor the Malian army can not destroy them. "In addition to the fear of attacks in Mali, in the sub-region and in France, the concern is also at its peak on the fate of the seven French hostages held by radical Islamist groups in the Sahel.

In addition to the 800 French soldiers already on site , France announced Tuesday the deployment of 2,500 soldiers term in Mali. For their part, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, West Africa met in Bamako to prepare for the "liberation" of North African forming an international force. In Paris, French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault assured the National Assembly that France was "front line" against the jihadi groups and the "African forces" is déploiraient "within a week".

ECOWAS must form an intervention force of 3300 troops under a UN resolution. Called Misma (ISAF support Mali), this unit will be headed by a Nigerian general, Shehu Abdulkadir. Nigeria must provide 900 men. The first will arrive "in the next 24 hours," according Abuja. Niger, Burkina Faso, Togo and Senegal have also announced the shipment of about 500 men, Benin 300, Guinea and Ghana a hundred each.

Moreover, during a meeting with François Hollande in Abu Dhabi, Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz said his country was ready to help the Malian army. Earlier, Algeria said it had closed its border with Mali and it allowed the French aircraft to fly over its airspace.


Rebel Commander orders destruction of communications lifeline
NORTHERN FRONTIER--Leaders Mujao destroyed Tuesday facilities telephony operators Malitel / Sotelma and Orange in the city of Gao before disappearing back into the desert.








JEDDAH--Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Tuesday called for a "cease-fire immediately." In a statement, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu called for a return to negotiations between the Malian authorities and Islamists who were sponsored by Burkina Faso. Ihsanoglu said he was "deeply concerned" by the situation in Mali, urging "restraint on all parties to the conflict" and seeking a "peaceful solution to the conflict." OIC based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, includes 57 countries.




Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, a Turkish Academician and Diplomat, is the ninth Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). As the first “democratically elected” Secretary General of the OIC, Ihsanoglu took office in January 2005.

‘Reform’ is the key word based on which Secretary General Ihsanoglu crystallized his vision and mission for the Muslim world taking moderation and modernization as two core guiding concepts. The universal norms, values, and practices such as democracy, good governance, rule of law, freedom of expression, respect for human rights, women’s empowerment and participation in political process, protection of minority rights, and freedom of religion are the lifeline of these concepts.



BAMAKO - The French army led in the night air strikes on the town of Diabali (Western Mali) which had entered the Islamists Monday, told AFP Tuesday Malian security source.
Aircraft (French) led strikes on the night area Diabali: at least five Islamists were killed and several wounded, the source said.

An inhabitant of a neighboring town located about twenty kilometers told AFP he saw armed Islamists fleeing after the strikes, many of whom died in the crash of a vehicle.

A source of regional security for his part said that jihadi fighters were still in the area Diabali and many of them there were hijacked an elected representative and his family at their home.
 However, according to this source, the Islamists will soon be forced to let go and flee the area are also located near the border with Mauritania, where the army of the country has strengthened its patrols.

Armed Islamists linked to Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), had taken the small town of Diabali, 400 km north of Bamako on Monday after fighting with the Malian army. The attack on the town was led by Abu Zeid, one of AQIM leaders, according to a source of regional security.
Since the early raids of France Friday on behalf of the fight against terrorism, armed Islamists have deserted cities of the north they held for nine months.
According to an official of Ansar Dine (Defenders of Islam), one of the armed groups who occupied the north, it is a strategic retreat.

(Translated from Mali Web//AFP)