Aid groups fail to reach key Mali town

2013-01-18 22:41
Gallery  |  click on thumbnail to view larger image

Mali unrest update

The Mali-unrest appears to be increasing due to the Algerian hostage and the extra France-supporting troops in Mali.

kalahari.com

Bamako - Warning that civilians are in danger, aid officials said they cannot reach a town where Islamist militants and French forces battled for a week, and a town not far from the capital remained on high alert on Friday after a reported jihadist sighting.

Doctors Without Borders has been trying to get to the town of Konna since Monday but all roads leading to the community in central Mali have been closed by the Malian military, said Malik Allaouna, director of operations for the group known as MSF by its initials in French.

"Despite our repeated requests, we are still being refused access to the Konna region," he said. "It is essential to allow the delivery of neutral and impartial medical and humanitarian aid in the areas affected by the conflict."

The fate of Konna was unclear on Friday, more than a week after Islamists first advanced on the town in a move that prompted the French military to launch its offensive in this vast desert nation in northwest Africa.

A Malian military official said on Thursday that the country's forces were in control of the town, but the claim could not be independently corroborated.

Further to the south, forces remained on high alert in Banamba, a town just 144km from the capital, Bamako, after a reported sighting of jihadists in the vicinity. Roughly 100 Malian soldiers sped on Thursday to Banamba, which would be the closest the extremists reportedly have come to Bamako.

France has encountered fierce resistance from the extremist groups, whose tentacles extend not only over a territory the size of Afghanistan in Mali, but also another 1 000km to the northeast in Algeria, where fighters stormed a BP-operated plant and took dozens of foreigners hostages, including Americans.

 They demanded the immediate end of the hostilities in Mali, with one commander, Oumar Ould Hamaha, saying that they are now "globalising the conflict" in revenge for the military assault on Malian soil.

A city official in Banamba who insisted on anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the press, said they had received reports that a rebel convoy had left the jihadist-controlled town of Diabaly on the road headed to Banamba.

On Thursday, France increased its troop strength in Mali to 1 400, said French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.

A former French colony, Mali once enjoyed a reputation as one of West Africa's most stable democracies with the majority of its 15.8 million people practicing a moderate form of Islam. That changed last March, following a coup in the capital which created the disarray that allowed Islamist extremists to take over the main cities in the distant north.

- AP
Read more on:    france  |  mali  |  west africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
2 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/World

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 40% off fashion accessories

Save up to 40% on selected handbags, purses, watches, jewellery and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2000 on top electronics

Get every day mind bowing savings on top electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

As seen on TV - New book releases at only R199 each

Get mind blowing book savings on new titles. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to 50% on Women’s month treats!

Celebrate the awesome women in your life with awesome treats like beauty products, fashion accessories, bestselling books, electronics and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You are in a curious mood and you want to be the first to know what is happening. You may find yourself drawn into cyber chatting...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.