Mali army claims Touregs repelled

2012-03-25 19:04

  • Bradt Guide Mali
    This title features information that ranges from elephant migrations to rock-climbing. Now R262.00
    buy now

Bamako - Malian soldiers on Sunday repelled a fresh attack by Tuareg rebels in the north following a coup as the junta struggled to restore order after ousting the west African nation's president.

The Tuareg had said they were advancing on the key northern town of Kidal, but a military official in the town told AFP the rebels had been pushed back.

"Today we repelled an attack by Islamist rebels," a military official in Kidal told AFP on condition of anonymity, referring to one of two rebel movements fighting for independence of the traditional homeland of the desert nomads.

The desert tribes in January launched their first rebellion since 2009 in a decades-old demand for independence, boosted by the return of heavily-armed battle-hardened fighters from Libya who served late dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

Their forces overwhelmed the weak Malian army, and scores of soldiers are said to have been killed and captured, causing anger among troops over the way the conflict is being handled by the government.

Angry soldiers revolted in Bamako on Wednesday, leading to a full-blown coup early on Thursday as they seized government buildings and forced the president to flee.

Junta leader Captain Amadou Sanogo has invited the rebels to hold talks and begin a "peace process" as he tries to restore order.

Bamako was tense on Sunday with few people venturing out as security forces patrolled the streets.

Banks and most shops were shut in the usually bustling city, although some petrol stations have reopened after being asked to do so by the junta.

Frozen out

President Amadou Toumani Toure's whereabouts are unknown, but he is believed to be safe under the protection of his loyalist paratrooper guard, while 14 members of his government detained by the putschists have threatened a hunger strike.

"There are 14 of us in a room of 12m², sleeping three to a mattress. Our basic rights are being violated," said a message from one of the officials sent to AFP.

They are being held at the Kati military barracks outside Bamako where Sanogo is seeking to reinforce the impression of control, holding meetings and making several public declarations.

He met French ambassador Christian Rouyer and other dignitaries on Saturday, state television reported, but the junta has been largely frozen out by the international community in a chorus of rebukes and suspension of aid.

On Sunday, Nairobi announced that the Kenyan and Zimbabwean foreign ministers were evacuated by a chartered flight after being stranded in Mali following the coup.

After widespread looting by soldiers in the coup aftermath, the junta urged "all those in uniform to report to their barracks for an inspection" and reminded unit commanders they were responsible for their men.

On Saturday Sanogo took to the television to show he was still alive and douse rumours of a counter-attack by loyalist troops.

The Tuareg rebels said in the wake of the coup they would continue their offensive, and the Islamist rebel group Ansar Dine, or Defenders of Faith in Arabic, said on Saturday its fighters had surrounded Kidal.

Last coup 21 years ago

"Thanks to Allah the almighty and his blessings, we will soon take our land in Kidal," said a statement from the group.

While Ansar Dine is demanding the imposition of Islamic law, the other rebel group, the Azawad National Liberation Movement (MNLA) has distanced itself from religious objectives.

Mali will on Monday will mark the 21st anniversary of the last coup, when Toure led the overthrow of dictator Moussa Traore and steered the country to its first democratic election a year later for which he is considered a hero.

After Mali's democratic advances in the past two decades, Thursday's coup alarmed the international community which reacted with swift condemnation.

The African Union temporarily suspended Mali, while Europe and Canada froze aid and the United States has threatened to follow suit.

A joint mission from the African Union and Economic Community of West African States met representatives of the junta on Friday, according to Mali state television, without giving further details.

Ecowas heads of state will hold an emergency meeting in Abidjan on Tuesday, the day the junta has called for civil servants to return to work.


Read more on:    ecowas  |  amadou sanogo  |  mali  |  west africa  |  coup

Read News24’s Comments Policy 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
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


Zille: Only DA can challenge ANC in F State

The DA is the only party that can challenge the ANC in the Free State, opposition party leader Helen Zille says.


Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
  • Monday Paarl - 17:32 PM
    Road name: N1 Inbound
    BUSY CONDTIONS at Huguenot tunnel - EXPECT DELAYS
  • Monday Camps Bay - 17:27 PM
    Road name: Victoria Road Northbound
    DELAYS though central Camps Bay area
More traffic reports...

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now! - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! 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

Nokia E7

Your mobile office Real-time emails with Mail for Exchange. Easy access to...

From R3499.00

I'm shopping for:


There may be a break through, either through quiet contemplative time to connect to your deep side or forced on you more

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


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 network.


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.