News / Africa

Two Senior Islamists Captured in Northern Mali

A convoy of Malian troops makes a stop to test their weapons near Hambori, northern Mali, on the road to Gao, February 4, 2013.A convoy of Malian troops makes a stop to test their weapons near Hambori, northern Mali, on the road to Gao, February 4, 2013.
x
A convoy of Malian troops makes a stop to test their weapons near Hambori, northern Mali, on the road to Gao, February 4, 2013.
A convoy of Malian troops makes a stop to test their weapons near Hambori, northern Mali, on the road to Gao, February 4, 2013.
VOA News
Two senior Islamist militants have been captured in northern Mali, including a top leader of radical group Ansar Dine.  

The Tuareg separatist group MNLA says it arrested Mohamed Moussa Ag Mohamed and Oumeini Ould Baba Akhmed on Saturday near Mali's border with Algeria.

Ag Mohamed is the number-three leader of Ansar Dine and helped impose a harsh form of Islamic law on the city of Timbuktu.  

Baba Akhmed is believed to be a member of the Movement for Unification and Jihad in West Africa, also known as MUJAO.

  • Malian soldiers man a bridge at the entrance of Gao, northern Mali where a suicide bomber on a motorcycle killed himself attempting to blow up an army checkpoint, Feb. 8, 2013.
  • Malian soldiers stand by a motorcycle used by a suicide bomber at the entrance of Gao, northern Mali, Feb. 8, 2013.
  • Malian soldiers inspect an explosive they found after residents notified authorities of suspicious bags left by radicals when they fled Gao, northern Mali, February 6, 2013.
  • A Malian man walks between doors of closed shops in Gao, northern Mali, February 5, 2013.
  • A child stands by his donkey cart, in Gao, northern Mali, February 5, 2013.
  • Men carry humanitarian food aid toward boats, Mopti, Mali, February 4, 2013.
  • A Malian woman looks at men carrying humanitarian food aid, Mopti, Mali, February 4, 2013.
  • Malian soldiers escort prisoners, who are suspected al-Qaida-allied fighters, in front of a military cell in Mopti, Mali, February 4, 2013.
  • A convoy of Malian troops on the road to Gao, northern Mali, February 4, 2013.
  • French President Francois Hollande holds hands with Mali's interim President Dioncounda Traoré in Timbuktu, Mali, February 2, 2013.
  • A man takes a close look at a burned-out truck in Timbuktu, Mali, January 31, 2013.

Ansar Dine

  • Name means "Defenders of the Faith"
  • Follows a puritanical form of Islam known as Salafism
  • Wants to impose strict Sharia law
  • Took control of parts of northern Mali after a March coup in Bamako
  • Led by Ag Ghali, a former senior rebel military commander
The two groups along with al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb controlled the major towns of northern Mali for about nine months before being driven out by the French and Malian armies.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Monday that French warplanes were continuing bombing raids on supply routes and training centers in the remote desert of northeastern Mali. He told French radio that the objective is to make it impossible for the rebels to stay in northern Mali long-term.

Also Monday, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden met with French President Francois Hollande in Paris and praised the French operation in Mali, calling it "decisive."

Biden also backed France's call for U.N. peacekeepers to be deployed to Mali

Hollande is pushing for African forces to take over for French troops that have been battling the militants for the past three weeks. He made a one-day visit to Mali on Saturday, making brief stops in Sevare, Timbuktu and the capital, Bamako.  

He told a cheering crowd in Bamako that French forces are fighting so people in Mali, a former French colony, can live in peace and have democracy.

Mali was plunged into crisis last year when soldiers overthrew the president, allowing the MNLA and Islamist groups to take control of the north. The Islamists then seized full control of the region and imposed strict Sharia law with measures that included a ban on music and forcing women to wear veils.  

The groups also carried out public executions, floggings, and amputations for alleged criminals, drawing strong condemnation for human rights groups and the United Nations.

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.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Davis K. Thanjan from: New York
February 04, 2013 10:16 AM
While the Tuareg rebels captured two senior Islamic militants, did French military kill or capture or wound any of the Islamic militants during their fly over in Mali? Did the Mali or ECOWAS forces catch, kill or wound any of the Moslem terrorists?

The French military helped to avoid the take over of Mali by Moslem terrorists. Without the reduction in the number of Moslem terrorists, the French, Mali and ECOWAS forces allowed the Moslem terrorist diaspora to spread to border countries.

The ECOWAS countries are sending their military forces to keep peace in Mali, when their own countries are threatened by Moslem terrorism. There is no change or reduction in the threats posed by the Moslem terrorists. The terrorists are just playing the hide and seek. There is a long way to go to reduce the threat of Moslem terrorism in the Sub-Sahara, Sahil Saharan and ECOWAS countries.

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