News24

Army needed to oust Mali Islamists - US

2012-10-02 17:59

Dakar - Military action will be needed to push radical Islamists out of northern Mali where they have carried out amputations and public whippings since seizing control of the region earlier this year, a top US official said.

Johnnie Carson, the US assistant secretary of state for African affairs, told reporters that Mali must also establish a "strong, credible government" so that its military is capable of leading the effort to liberate the north.

Al-Qaeda-linked militants took advantage of a power vacuum in the distant capital back in March when mutinous soldiers overthrew the democratically elected government. Over the last six months, the militants have begun imposing their form of strict Islamic law known as Shariah.

"They are responsible for terrorism, for kidnapping, and for robbery. This is an issue that must be dealt with through security and military means," Carson said during a teleconference on Monday.

"But any military action up there must indeed be well planned, well organized, well resourced, and well thought through," he added. "And it must, in fact, be agreed upon by those who are going to be most affected by it."

For months, the West African regional bloc known as Ecowas has been calling for military intervention to help Malian forces retake the north from the Islamists.

Mali's transitional government has accepted the presence of a regional military force, though for long officials wavered on whether they wanted boots on the ground in southern Mali as well.

The United States has expressed growing concern about the situation in northern Mali. Last week, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called it "a powder keg that the international community cannot afford to ignore".

Carson said Monday that other countries - such as Algeria, Mauritania and Chad - also need to be involved in finding a solution to the Malian crisis, along with the United States, the European Union and others.

"It is important that what goes on up there have the support of all of the states in the region," he said. "The Ecowas states, as well as Mauritania and Algeria and others in the area, must also be a part of this policy. After all, the states in the north have long borders with Mali."

The north of Mali, a predominantly moderate Muslim country, has become increasingly repressive in recent months, according to human rights groups. Islamists even stoned to death a couple accused of adultery.

They have banned ring tones on mobile phones that are not Quranic verse readings, and prohibited cigarettes and alcohol. Women who wear jewelry or perfume, or fail to cover their heads can also face punishment.

Comments
  • rude.awakning - 2012-10-02 18:52

    heading should read ''Army needed to oust Mali warlords and armed gangs!'' Sharia and Islam does not permit nor promote such violent and barbaric behaviour! I would be honourable if the US own up to their supporters and admit that these out of control warlords are the friut of their covert wheeling and dealing in the region in an attempt to control and minipulate! They would be quite proud if it didnt blow up in their face!

  • Shaun McDermott - 2012-10-02 19:39

    Islam is violent see koran 8:39.

      rude.awakning - 2012-10-02 20:35

      in the bible, torah, bhagwan ghita and every other scripture you will find violence.. Paedophiles are all over the world and even atheist are guilty of it. Every nation, religion, and creed have extremist/ fundamentalist! A small percent of them does not speak and act for all!

  • patrick.mettle.7 - 2012-10-02 20:07

    \They are responsible for terrorism, for kidnapping, and for robbery.\. What all sharia law supporters are reposnible for. Throw in murder, intolerance and paedophilia and you have the bedrock of sharia law. It has no place in the 21st century.

  • rude.awakning - 2012-10-02 20:17

    here we go: the atheist american version of sharia law!

  • Abshai Ndlovu - 2012-10-02 22:08

    Does the US wants oil I wonder? One should be forgiven for being so loyal to the US because they have proven beyond reasonable doubt that their agenda is not about oil as their critics suggests. Its about human rights, its about making the world better for all. And the US has been potrayed as a country that is against Islam, of which I find it as an insult to an intelligent mind. The US is against the tree called Al-Qaeda and its branches!!

      amir.fernandez.351 - 2012-10-04 05:14

      abshai! You sound like you are try to impess US immegration to get a green card! Or you are living were there's no other people with a little bit of intelligence to inform you proper?

  • Abshai Ndlovu - 2012-10-02 22:08

    Does the US wants oil I wonder? One should be forgiven for being so loyal to the US because they have proven beyond reasonable doubt that their agenda is not about oil as their critics suggests. Its about human rights, its about making the world better for all. And the US has been potrayed as a country that is against Islam, of which I find it as an insult to an intelligent mind. The US is against the tree called Al-Qaeda and its branches!!

  • Abshai Ndlovu - 2012-10-02 22:08

    Does the US wants oil I wonder? One should be forgiven for being so loyal to the US because they have proven beyond reasonable doubt that their agenda is not about oil as their critics suggests. Its about human rights, its about making the world better for all. And the US has been potrayed as a country that is against Islam, of which I find it as an insult to an intelligent mind. The US is against the tree called Al-Qaeda and its branches!!

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