Free Newsletters - Space - Defense - Environment - Energy
Troubled Mali names new army chief
by Staff Writers
The government named General Mahamane Toure, previously the director of a peacekeeper training academy in the capital, to take over from Ibrahim Dahirou Dembele, without giving a reason for the replacement.
It also formally dissolved a committee on military reform that had been criticised as a golden parachute for the leader of the March 2012 coup that helped plunge the country into chaos.
In the post-coup transition, junta leader Amadou Sanogo had been installed at the head of the committee and promoted from captain to general, outraging human rights groups.
Mali's interim government removed Sanogo from the post last August, just before newly elected President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita took office on September 4.
"After the election of the president of the republic and his swearing-in, it now seems necessary to put an end to the (committee's) work," the government said Saturday.
The military reshuffling came as rebels from Mali's minority Tuareg group disputed the army's account of clashes Friday in the country's northeast.
The National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA), a Tuareg separatist group, accused the army of executing three civilians during what the military had described as a rebel attack.
"A column of the Malian army arrested, held and executed several civilians in the Menaka area" on Friday morning, the MNLA said in a statement.
It said six people had been arrested, three of whom were executed and three of whom were "tortured and severely wounded".
It did not say what led to the incident.
Military sources said Friday that MNLA rebels had attacked soldiers on patrol at a market near the border with Niger.
Mali's defence ministry blamed unidentified "armed bandits", saying three of them had been killed and four wounded. One soldier was also wounded, it said.
There has been an upsurge in violence in Mali since the MNLA pulled out of peace talks with the government in September.
Two French journalists were shot dead last week during a kidnapping claimed by Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).
The chief suspect in the kidnapping is a Tuareg thought to have associated with both AQIM and the mainly secular MNLA.
The Tuareg, traditionally a federation of nomadic tribes who have staged repeated rebellions in Mali and Niger, are scheduled to hold new talks with the government in November.
But the government strongly opposes Tuareg self-rule.
Mali is struggling to restore stability after months of turmoil sparked by the coup and the takeover of its vast desert north by Al-Qaeda-linked fighters who had piggybacked on the latest Tuareg rebellion to install brutal Islamic law in the region.
A French-led military operation launched in January ousted the Islamist extremists, but sporadic attacks have continued.
Africa News - Resources, Health, Food
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|