News / Africa

Calm Restored After Rebels Flee Malian Towns

A man suspected of allegedly collaborating with Islamists is left bleeding after having been beaten, in the city of Diabaly, on January 22, 2013. The EU executive today announced 20 million euros of extra humanitarian aid to help tens of thousands of MalA man suspected of allegedly collaborating with Islamists is left bleeding after having been beaten, in the city of Diabaly, on January 22, 2013. The EU executive today announced 20 million euros of extra humanitarian aid to help tens of thousands of Mal
x
A man suspected of allegedly collaborating with Islamists is left bleeding after having been beaten, in the city of Diabaly, on January 22, 2013. The EU executive today announced 20 million euros of extra humanitarian aid to help tens of thousands of Mal
A man suspected of allegedly collaborating with Islamists is left bleeding after having been beaten, in the city of Diabaly, on January 22, 2013. The EU executive today announced 20 million euros of extra humanitarian aid to help tens of thousands of Mal
VOA News
A reporter on the ground in northern Mali says most Islamist militants have fled the city of Gao since last week, when French warplanes bombed their positions. 
 
The VOA reporter in Gao said Tuesday that some militants have been spotted in the area - driving in trucks or riding motorbikes or hiding out in trees. But he adds it is clear the Islamists are not numerous or organized enough to continue applying the strict Sharia law they imposed after taking control of the city last April. 
 
Local youths have taken up smoking again, the VOA reporter says, and girls without head coverings can be seen in the streets. 
 
The journalist in Gao says the French airstrike on Gao 10 days ago did not kill any civilians, but the city is suffering shortages of food and medical supplies because all deliveries from Niger and Algeria have been interrupted. 
 
Gao has no communications links to the rest of the world. The reporter told VOA he had to travel 180 kilometers outside Gao to file his report.
 
French and West African military forces are expected to retake the city in the coming weeks. 
 
Meanwhile, Malian forces are patrolling Diabaly, a town in central Mali where Islamist militants were beaten back Monday by French and Malian forces. 
 
Residents in Diabaly, too, said the militants who formerly held power there have either fled or are attempting to blend in with civilians. The town is 400 kilometers north of the capital, Bamako.
 
The correspondent leading the VOA reporting team in Mali, Idrissa Fall, says calm is also returning to Douentza, a town militants had taken over in September. 
 
Fall spoke with residents Tuesday who expressed relief that Malian forces and their allies are now in charge of local affairs. 
 
"They confirmed that the Malian army, the French soldiers, they arrived yesterday morning at 9 a.m. and the whole population in Douentza went out celebrating their arrival," he reported. 
 
French forces intervened in Mali one and one-half weeks ago, when fears were growing that militants who still control much of northern Mali were pushing toward the capital.  The United States has helped the French intervention force in Mali with transportation and equipment. 
 
ECOWAS, the West African regional bloc, is building a 3,300-troop force that will eventually take the lead in helping Malian forces push back rebels.  Pentagon spokesman George Little said Tuesday the U.S. military has flown five C-17 cargo flights into Bamako. 
 
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says the terrorist threat in Mali has "global repercussions."  In a speech to the General Assembly Tuesday, Mr. Ban said addressing the unrest in Mali and the Sahel region is one of his top priorities this year. 
 
During the past few days, the secretary-general said, he had dispatched an advance team of U.N. multidisciplinary officials to Bamako as part of U.N. efforts to help stabilize Mali.
 
"My Special Representative for West Africa has been in close dialogue with the Malian authorities and our regional partners.  Our humanitarian agencies are working to meet the growing needs of a crisis that has forced 350,000 people to flee their homes," he said. 
 
Ban said the U.N. would work with its African and international partners to fully restore Mali's constitutional order and territorial integrity. 

You May Like

Video Positive Messaging Helps Revamp Ethiopia's Image

In country once connected with war, poverty, famine, headlines now focus on fast-growing economy, diplomatic reputation More

Russian Activist Thinks Kremlin Ordered Nemtsov's Death

Alexei Navalny says comments of Russian liberals who think government wasn't involved are 'nonsense.' More

Video Land Disputes Rise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Imagei
X
Marthe van der Wolf
March 03, 2015 9:03 PM
Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.
Video

Video Land Disputes Arise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Ugandan police say there has been a sharp increase in land disputes, with 10 new cases being reported each day. The claims come amid an oil boom as investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers. Meanwhile, the people who have been living on the land for decades are chased away, sometimes with a heavy hand. VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
Video

Video In Russia, Many Doubt Opposition Leader's Killer Will Be Found

The funeral has been held in Moscow for Boris Nemtsov, the opposition leader who was assassinated late Friday just meters from the Kremlin. Nemtsov joins a growing list of outspoken critics of Russia under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin who are believed to have been murdered for their work. VOA’s Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Simulated Astronauts Get Taste of Mars, in Hawaii

For generations, people have dreamed of traveling to Mars to explore Earth's closest planetary neighbor. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that while space agencies like NASA are planning manned missions to the planet, some volunteers in Hawaii are learning how humans will cope with months in isolation on a Mars base.
Video

Video Destruction of Iraq Artifacts Shocks Archaeologists

The city of Mosul was once one of the most culturally rich and religiously diverse cities in Iraq. That tradition is under attack by members of the Islamic State who have made Mosul their capital city. The Mosul Museum is the latest target of the group’s campaign of terror and destruction, and is of grave concern to archaeologists around the world. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Prepare to Defend Mariupol

Despite the ongoing ceasefire in Ukraine, soldiers in the city of Mariupol fear that pro-Russian separatists may be getting ready to attack. The separatists must take or encircle the city if they wish to gain land access to Crimea, which was annexed by Russia early last year. But Ukrainian forces, many of them volunteers, say they are determined to defend it. Patrick Wells reports from Mariupol.
Video

Video Moscow Restaurants Suffer in Bad Economy, Look for Opportunity

As low oil prices and Western sanctions force Russia's economy into recession, thousands of Moscow restaurants are expected to close their doors. Restaurant owners face rents tied to foreign currency, while rising food prices mean Russians are spending less when they dine out. One entrepreneur in Moscow has started a dinner kit delivery service for those who want to cook at home to save money but not skimp on quality. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Presidential Hopefuls Battle for Conservative Hearts and Minds

One after another, presumptive Republican presidential contenders auditioned for conservative support this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference held outside Washington. The rhetoric was tough as a large field of potential candidates tried to woo conservative support with red-meat attacks on President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress. VOA Political Columnist Jim Malone takes a look.
Video

Video Southern US Cities Preserve Civil Rights Heritage to Boost Tourism

There has been a surge of interest in the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s, thanks in part to the Hollywood motion picture "Selma." Five decades later, communities in the South are embracing the dark chapters of their past with hopes of luring tourism dollars. VOA's Chris Simkins reports.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More