On Saturday, March 2, at noon, Chadian armed forces operating in northern Mali completely destroyed a terrorist base. …The toll included several dead terrorists, including their leader Mokhtar Belmokhtar.A statement from the Chadian armed forces • Announcing the killing of Mokhtar Belmokhtar, an al-Qaeda commander who claimed responsibility for masterminding a lethal hostage situation at an Algerian gas plant in January. Chad’s President Idriss Deby also announced Friday that his forces had killed Adelhamid Abou Zeid, another prominent al-Qaeda commander, in the same area as the attack that killed Belmokhtar. The French, who launched jet strikes on mountain regions in Northern Mali believed to house bases for Islamic militants, have not yet confirmed the deaths of either Belmokhtar or Abou Zeid. source
This is the final phase of the process since it is in that massif [the Ifoghas mountains] that AQIM forces have probably regrouped. Our Chadian friends launched an attack yesterday which was very harsh with significant loss of life. I want to praise what the Chadians are doing.French President Francois Hollande • Speaking on his nation’s military collaboration, along with African forces, against al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, a militant group in Mali now waging a weakening insurgency in the country’s far north. The group had claimed control of broad swaths of northern Mali in 2012, causing the government to request international military help, which Hollande and France (Mali was a French colony until 1960) have provided in the form of 4,000 soldiers deployed. And lest you think there’s a military operation of this sort the United States isn’t involved in, predator drones have been offered to the effort as well, which U.S. officials claim will be used to glean deployment information. source
I just want to say thank you from myself and the people of Mali - Vive la France! I hope Francois Hollande continues to help us and that that we can stay free like this.Timbuktu resident Bena Abdel Kadir • Praising France and President Francois Hollande for approving military engagement in Mali, where the French have been fighting, aided by Malian forces, to uproot an Islamic rebel movement now contained in their lone remaining stronghold, the northeastern city of Kidal. Timbuktu, also in northern Mali, was freed from rebel control by this collaboration, and reports of the scene when Hollande visited suggest a great deal of jubilance towards the French leader, who pledged to keep troops in Mali “as long as necessary,” until state sovereignty has been restored. In other words, an open-ended military engagement, the sort of which has become dubiously familiar to the international community over the last decade. source
It’s truly alarming that this has happened. They torched all the important ancient manuscripts. The ancient books of geography and science. It is the history of Timbuktu, of its people.Timbuktu mayor Ousmane Halle • Expressing great frustration after rebels overtaking the country of Mali set ablaze a library including thousands of ancient documents. While some of the documents have been hidden or moved to protect their contents, others were not so lucky. The Islamist rebels in the country have set off on a major path of destruction, destroying ancient artifacts — including the tombs of ancient saints (such as the tomb of tenth-century saint Sidi Mahmoudou), saints which al-Qaeda officials say conflict with Islam by taking the focus off of Allah. source
We are making the solemn commitment to re-establish, from today, the Malian constitution of February 25, 1992 and the institutions of the republic.Mali junta leader Amadou Sanogo • Claiming that the military coup he led on March 22 would reinstate the country’s constitution ”with the aim of organizing peaceful, free, open and democratic elections in which we will not take part.” The junta has been threatened with crippling sanctions by the ECOWAS multi-nation body if it does not cede power by midnight Sunday. The West African nation, which is landlocked, could see its borders closed if the junta does not give up power. Sanogo, the U.S.-trained military leader who led the coup, was an obscure entity before the incident.