Mali capital paralysed by rebel protests

2012-02-02 20:15

Bamako - Hundreds of Malians set up barricades and burned tyres in the streets of Bamako on Thursday, shutting down the capital in the latest protests against a rebellion that has seized several northern towns, and the government's handling of it.

The protest in the capital comes after the Tuareg-led rebels, who are fighting for an independent north, took control of the northeastern town of Menaka.

Dozens of people have been reported killed and thousands of civilians have fled their homes after the rebels launched a three-pronged assault south in mid-January.

But the demonstrations, sparked by local reports that the military ran out of ammunition and that dozens of soldiers may have been executed during rebel attacks, have raised the prospects of clashes between Malian communities.

A Reuters reporter in Bamako said shops were shuttered early in the afternoon and smoke hung over parts of the city after tyres had been set on fire.

The centre of town was largely deserted except for groups of youths wandering around, the reporter said.

The protests come a day after witnesses said the wives and relatives of Malian soldiers serving in the north attacked government buildings and targeted at least one business run by a Tuareg in the town of Kati, just northwest of Bamako.

Local media reported that the women had earlier tried to march on to the presidency to complain that Mali's army was short of equipment and experience in fighting the rebels.

Executions

The bloodiest of the clashes so far seems to have taken place in Aguelhoc, in Mali's far north, where Malian military officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, say dozens of soldiers were killed, with many executed.

Bamako has accused the rebels of atrocities and collaborating with local al-Qaeda groups but not given any official toll. The MNLA has strenuously denied any al-Qaeda link, accusing the government of trying to spread propaganda.

Military sources said on Thursday that the MNLA rebels had taken control of the town of Menaka after the military withdrew.

"We are in the process of regrouping. Our men have pulled out of Menaka and when we left the rebels entered the town. It was a tactical retreat," a military source told Reuters.

In his first public statement since the rebellion began, Mali's President Amadou Toumani Toure late on Wednesday pledged not to give in to separatist demands but, in a sign of concerns that the conflict could spread, called on Malians to refrain from attacks on any particular community.

"Do not confuse those who are shooting at military bases with those who are living amongst us, who are our neighbours, colleagues," he said on state television.

Read more on:    aqim  |  amadou toumani toure  |  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
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
SPONSORED CONTENT
When is a mountain more than just a mountain? 2014-12-18 07:26

When it’s an adventure! A group of Old Mutual employees found out how much is enough courage, endurance and camaraderie to take on Africa's highest peak.

/News
 

Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!

It’s the season to be jolly – so we’ve rounded up some new Joburg hot spots!

 
 

I love summer.24

13 things you might not know about Disneyland
The craziest deaths of 2014
How to make this a sensual, sexy summer!
This is what South Africans Googled in 2014!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy 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

There is so much going on around you and inside your head. You may want to take your ideas to the next level. Romance may be...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.