Mali coup leader appeals for help

2012-03-30 19:31

kalahari.com

  • Bradt Guide Mali
    This title features information that ranges from elephant migrations to rock-climbing. Now R262.00
    buy now
Bamako - Mali's junta leader appealed on Friday for foreign help to secure the West African country against a separatist Tuareg uprising after the rebels entered the strategic northern town of Kidal.

The West African country is an indirect victim of last year's conflict in Libya, from where weapons spilled out and bolstered a northern rebellion. The coup was led by soldiers who complain the government has not given them adequate means to fight off the uprising.

The call by Captain Amadou Sanogo, who seized power last week during an army mutiny, came a day after Mali's neighbours gave him 72 hours to hand back power to civilians - an ultimatum he did not directly address in a short statement.

"Our army needs the help of Mali's friends to save the civilian population and Mali's territorial integrity," Sanogo told a news conference at the army barracks just outside the capital Bamako now serving as the country's presidency.

The rebels, who began fighting for an independent north in January, have seized on the confusion caused by last week's coup to prepare offensives on the three regional centres in Mali's remote north.

In their most important victory so far, rebel forces entered Kidal early on Friday after soldiers abandoned one of the two local military camps there, military and diplomatic sources told Reuters.

"Ansar Edine [rebel] forces are entering from the south. The military has left," a diplomat in touch with civilians in the area said, requesting not to be named.

A military source in Kidal told Reuters the soldiers abandoned their positions in one camp so as to coordinate a counter-offensive. Kidal residents said the besieged town had come under heavy weapons fire from rebels on Thursday.

"The rebels are going around town, telling people to go about their businesses as usual. They are all armed in pickup vehicles. Women uttered cries of joy to greet them at the airport," said Kidal resident Moussa Maiga by phone.

Appeal for understanding

Ironically, the mutiny was sparked by army anger that the government had not provided it with adequate weapons to combat northern rebels bolstered by arms that leaked out of Libya during last year's conflict. But if anything it has emboldened the rebels and allowed them to make further advances.

Mali's neighbours on Thursday demanded the leaders begin handing back power to civilians by Monday or face a crippling closure of trade borders, diplomatic isolation and a freeze in funding from the regional central bank.

The measures, if applied, could further damage the interests of international miners in Africa's third biggest gold producer. Uncertainty over the future has already pushed their shares lower on Western stock exchanges.

While not responding directly to the ultimatum, Sanogo said the junta "understood the situation" of the 15-member West African Ecowas bloc, but pleaded for them to look again at land-locked Mali's plight and possible solutions.

"We are inviting Ecowas to deepen its analysis of the situation in Mali and how Mali got here," said Sanogo, who has previously described the entire political class around ousted president Amadou Toumani Toure as corrupt and incompetent.

Fragile neighbours such as Niger and Ivory Coast are concerned that a successful coup in Mali could encourage copy-cat moves on their soil. Ecowas has threatened to use military force as a last resort to reverse the coup.

Read more on:    ecowas  |  amadou toumani toure  |  amadou sanogo  |  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

 
/Wine
 

You HAVE to see this MTB Tsunami Fip!

You might not know what a Tsunami Flip is, but just watching this will turn your eyes into saucers. Check out this first-ever MTB Tsunami Flip in contest here.

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Bear Grylls’ top 10 things kids should do outdoors
Mountain unicycling – say WHAT?
Top tips to ensure you’re running right
Stand-up paddle boarding a great workout

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

Deal of the week!

20% off Afrikaans books, music and DVDs. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Hot gaming titles – available for pre-order!

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Day Zero Edition, Far Cry 4, Grand Theft Auto 5 and more. Pre-order now!

Get a free eBook

Buy 3 eBooks and get the cheapest FREE. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and 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

Pushing too hard and doing too much may have left you feeling drained and overwhelmed. You may need time out to recharge and reset...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.