News / Africa

Men Wearing Explosives Arrested in Mali

Malian soldiers stand by a motorcycle used by a suicide bomber at the entrance of Gao, northern Mali, Feb. 8, 2013.
Malian soldiers stand by a motorcycle used by a suicide bomber at the entrance of Gao, northern Mali, Feb. 8, 2013.
VOA News
Malian officials say two men who were allegedly wearing explosives were arrested near Gao on Saturday, a day after a suicide bomber attacked a military checkpoint near the northern city.

A Malian military spokesman and witnesses say the two men were detained on a road that leads into Gao.

Malian troops bolstered security after Friday's attack. A local journalist said the bombing occurred less than 10 meters from the military checkpoint.

The Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) claimed responsibility for the Friday blast and vowed to carry out more attacks against Malian soldiers who sided with what it called "enemies of Islam." 

MUJAO is one of several military groups that had strongholds in northern Mali before French forces intervened in January.

Radio France Internationale said Saturday that Malian authorities had issued arrest warrants for the leaders of MUJAO as well as Ansar Dine and the Tuareg separatist group MNLA. All three militant groups have been linked to unrest in the country's north.

Friday's violence overshadowed the arrival of 70 European Union military trainers. They were the first of 500 military instructors who are being deployed to help strengthen the Malian army.

The Mali crisis began in early 2012 when the Tuareg separatist group MNLA launched a rebellion in the north. The MNLA and Islamist militants seized control of the north after the March coup in Bamako, but the MNLA was soon swept aside as the militants imposed harsh Islamic law on the region.

At the request of Mali's government, France entered its former colony last month to drive back the al-Qaida-linked militants who had begun moving in the direction of the capital, Bamako.

France wants to begin handing over its four-week-old military operation to the Malian army and African forces.  But officials say any transfer will have to wait until Mali's security situation stabilizes.

France has proposed the United Nations establish a peacekeeping mission in Mali.  Diplomats have said privately that a U.N. Security Council resolution authorizing the mission is not likely before the end of February.  It could take another two months after that to transition the African forces into U.N. peacekeepers.


Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid