Algeria troops in Mali to fight Qaeda

2011-12-20 20:48
Bamako - Algerian troops have crossed into Mali to help government forces combat groups affiliated to al-Qaeda, officials and witnesses said on Tuesday.

"Algerian troops are currently stationed in northern Mali to assist the Malian army in the fight against terrorism," a high-ranking military official said.

He would not divulge the number of Algerian troops now based in Mali nor the expected length of their stay.

"We know there is a team of instructors of at least 15, including officers," a diplomatic source said, also on condition of anonymity.

Customs officials said they saw a convoy carrying Algerian military between the northern towns of Kidal and Tessalit, near the Algerian border.

Weak link

Al-Qaeda-linked groups have been active in Algeria, Mali, Niger and Mauritania for a decade, but their activity has picked up since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi scattered the slain Libyan strongman's arsenal across the region.

Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and a splinter group that surfaced earlier this month - the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa - currently hold 12 European hostages.

In April 2010, the four countries formed a Committee of Joint Chiefs (Cemoc), based in the Algerian town of Tamanrasset, to co-ordinate their military efforts against AQIM.

Cemoc army chiefs meet every six months but had never yet organised joint patrols, with the smaller countries criticising the group's powerhouse Algeria for failing to send more help.

Algiers for its part has complained that Mali was the committee's weak link, blaming Bamako for allowing AQIM to set up bases on its territory and releasing jailed militants in exchange for hostages.

A source close to the Malian defence ministry said a meeting between Malian and Algerian top brass was due to take place in Bamako on Wednesday.

World security analysts have voiced concern that while "al-Qaeda central" has been weakened in 2011, the group's franchise in Africa could become a new terror hub posing a threat far beyond the four countries currently most affected.
- SAPA
Read more on:    al-qaeda  |  algeria  |  mali  |  security  |  north 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
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Hottie of the day: Nicole Meyer!

Nicole is the cover girl for the 2014 edition of SA Swimsuit! Check out some smoking hot pics of here here.

 
 

Men24.com

11 things men don’t know about their clothes
Hilarious mortal kombat elevator prank!
This is how the Top Gear presenters spend their £55 million!
Thirty and still single? There’s hope!

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

Save up to 60% on toys!

Don’t miss out on this hot offer, save up to 60% on toys. While stocks last. Shop now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 35% off books

Save up to 35% on the latest page-turners. 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

The Moon has moved into your sign, emphasizing the need to connect things to work together. There is a tendency to focus too far...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.