News / Africa

    French, Malian Troops Retake Rebel-Controlled Town

    French soldiers prepare their ammunitions at the military airbase in Bamako, before their deployment as part of the "Serval" operation against Islamists occupying northern Mali, January 16, 2013.
    French soldiers prepare their ammunitions at the military airbase in Bamako, before their deployment as part of the "Serval" operation against Islamists occupying northern Mali, January 16, 2013.
    VOA News
    French and Malian troops have retaken the town of Diabaly in central Mali from Islamist militants.

    A witness in Diabaly told VOA the town was retaken Monday, a week after Islamist fighters seized control.  Reports from the area say armored vehicles carrying French and Malian soldiers entered the town with no resistance, after days of French airstrikes.

    Mali, AfricaMali, Africa
    x
    Mali, Africa
    Mali, Africa
    Residents say Islamists either fled the town or are attempting to blend in with the local population.

    French forces said they were searching for landmines or explosive devices.

    French forces intervened in Mali 10 days ago, amid fears that militants who control northern Mali were pushing toward the capital, Bamako.  Diabaly, located 400 kilometers north of the capital, marked the militants' closest approach to the city so far.

    In Paris Monday, French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said French and Malian forces have also retaken the town of Douentza.

    On Sunday, Le Drian said France will accept nothing less than the "total reconquest" of Mali from Islamist militants.

    Troops from Nigeria, Togo, Niger and Benin are also in Mali as part of an African intervention force.

    Abdel Fatau Musah, external relations director for the Economic Community of West African States, told VOA Monday that the international community needs to provide financial and logistical support for ECOWAS forces.  He says this is "not a time to hold back."

    "The whole conflict has been internationalized because of the whole issue of this criminal network, this terrorist network, that threatens not only West Africa but also the international community," he said. "France itself has acknowledged that it needs West African troops on the ground to make its air force worthwhile."

    VOA French to Africa correspondent Idrissa Fall is in Sevare, close to the fighting in central Mali.  On Sunday, he described the town as being in a "state of war" with streets overrun by French and Malian military forces while empty of civilians.

    Sevare has a strategically important airport which could serve as a base for further operations in the north.

    Fall says the French military is giving little information to residents in the north, creating a sense of panic.  He reports phone lines to the city of Gao have been down for more than a week.

    The extremists seized control of northern Mali after renegade soldiers toppled the government in March, leaving a temporary power vacuum.  The militants have imposed harsh conservative Islamic law across the north.  France is Mali's former colonial ruler and still has economic and political interests there.

    • Adama Drabo, 16, sits in the police station in Sevare, Mali, January 25, 2013. He was captured traveling without papers by Malian troops and arrested on suspicion of working for Islamic militant group MUJAO.
    • French soldiers sing the national anthem during a ceremony with French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, before their departure to Mali, at Miramas Military base, France, January 25, 2013.
    • Malian troops man an observation post outside Sevare, Mali January 24, 2013.
    • French soldiers at an observation post outside Sevare, Mali, about 400 miles north of the capital Bamako, January 24, 2013.
    • A boy who fled northern Mali is seen at a camp for internally displaced persons in Sevare, Mali, January 23, 2013.
    • People who fled northern Mali are seen at a camp for internally displaced persons, in the city of Sevare, Mali, January 23, 2013.
    • Malians hang on the back of a packed minibus as they drive to Marakala, central Mali, 240 kilometers from Bamako, January 22, 2013.
    • A French soldier carries his equipment after arriving on a US Air Force C-17 transport plane at the airport in Bamako, Mali, January 22, 2013.
    • Malian soldiers carry a box of ammunition after searching through debris at a military camp in Diabaly, Mali, January 21 2013.
    • Charred pickup trucks, which according to local villagers, belonged to al-Qaida-linked rebels and destroyed by French airstrikes, are seen in Diabaly, Mali, January 21, 2013.
    • A French soldier secures a perimeter on the outskirts of Diabaly, Mali, January 21, 2013.
    • A Malian soldier walks inside a military camp used by radical Islamists and bombarded by French warplanes, in Diabaly, Mali, January 21, 2013.
    • An unidentified man takes a picture of the charred remains of trucks used by radical Islamists on the outskirts of Diabaly, Mali, January 21, 2013.
    • A Malian soldier checks identity papers in the center of Diabaly, Mali, January 21, 2013.

    You May Like

    Post-White House, Obamas to Rent Washington Mansion

    Nine-bedroom home is 3 kilometers from Oval Office, near capital's Embassy Row; rent estimated at around $22,000 a month

    Red Planet? Not so much!

    New research suggest that Mars is in a warm period between cyclical ice ages, and that during Ice Age Maximum over 500,000 years ago, the red planet was decidedly ice, and much whiter to the naked eye.

    Taj Mahal Battles New Threat from Insects

    Swarms of insects are proliferating in the heavily contaminated waters of the Yamuna River, which flows behind the 17th century monument

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Munir Hatwawi from: Syria
    January 21, 2013 5:20 PM
    to all those who advocate intervention in Syria... be careful of what you hope for... you will have the Muslim Brotherhood (Al Qaeda) perpetrating the same atrocities you see before you on a much larger scale. Assad is bad, but the alternative is much much worse!!! there is a reason why the Israelis did not send their "Mechanics" to convert Assad into a can of dog food...

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese Americans for Trump Going Against National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese Americans for Trump Going Against National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora