by Staff Writers
Bamako (AFP) Aug 1, 2012
The wives of dozens of Malian armymen Wednesday physically blocked a group of policemen from arresting two soldiers close to the west African nation's former president who was ousted in a March coup.
"Armed men came here to the camp to arrest our 'husbands' and we refused. We do not agree that they can carry out arrests in this way," said one woman, who identified herself as Mariam.
The women acted as a group to prevent the arrest of the two colleagues of their husbands.
They then launched tear gas to try to get past the wives, two of whom were pregnant and fainted, before opening fire, a military wife Fatoumata Toure claimed, adding: "We are ready to defend them to the death."
Mali suffered a coup on March 22, when a group of soldiers overthrew then-president Amadou Toumani Toure, saying he was not effectively handling an Islamist rebellion in the north of the west African desert country.
Though the soldiers, led by Captain Amadou Sanogo Haya, have since handed power to a transition government, they remain influential in Bamako and have arrested many people close to the former president, including soldiers.
An official from the Malian security service told AFP there would be no "arbitrary arrests" and that civil liberties would be scrupulously guarded.
More than 300 soldiers' wives demonstrated July 16 in Bamako to demand the release of their husbands.
The March coup was a disaster from a military perspective, with Islamist and Tuareg rebels quickly exploiting the power vacuum in the capital to seize more than half of the country's territory.
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Brother of exiled Rwandan ex-army chief gets 9 years' jail
Kigali (AFP) July 26, 2012
A Rwandan military court jailed a brother of an exiled former army chief to nine years in prison for threatening state security, the defence ministry said in a statement Thursday. On Wednesday, the military high court found Lieutenant-Colonel Rugigana Ngabo guilty and "sentenced him to nine years following accusations of threatening state security," the ministry said. The court found him ... read more
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