UN Security Council approves Mali intervention force

Published: Updated:
Read Mode
100% Font Size
6 min read

Meanwhile, Mali’s president acknowledged Wednesday that the Islamist group carrying out public executions and amputations in the country’s north is made up mostly of Malians and not foreign fighters, a declaration that appears aimed at fostering dialogue with the group, the Associated Press reported.

The comments mark the first time Mali’s leader has acknowledged that the Ansar Dine group includes mostly Malians. Previously the government had maintained the group included militants from al-Qaeda’s North Africa branch and other foreigners who invaded Mali in the wake of a coup in March.

On Wednesday, though, President Dioncounda Traore said Ansar Dine fighters “are mainly made up of our fellow countrymen.”

He also noted the presence in northern Mali of Nigerian terror group Boko Haram and Qaeda’s North Africa branch, or AQIM, in the area, which has known links to Ansar Dine.

Ansar Dine, or “Defenders of the Faith,” controls the towns of Kidal and Timbuktu in northern Mali, where they have imposed a strict form of Islamic law known as Shariah there.

They’ve stoned to death a couple accused of adultery and accused thieves have had their hands hacked off hacked off. Ansar Dine also has recruited children as young as 12 into their ranks and forced women to wear head-to-toe veils.

Top Content Trending