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Terrorism 2013-02-11

Civilians caught between Mali terrorists, troops

By Jemal Oumar for Magharebia in Nouakchott – 11/02/13

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Al-Qaeda-linked Islamists launched a new attack on the northern Malian city of Gao on Sunday (February 10th), leading to an hours-long gunfight with Malian and French troops.

The skirmish left at least two Islamists and three civilians dead, AFP reported. Fifteen civilians and two Malian soldiers were also injured in the attack.

The Movement for Tawhid and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) claimed credit for the assault, as well as two failed suicide bombings over the weekend. On Monday, French forces launched airstrikes to repel the jihadists.

The latest flare up raised fresh fears for the hundreds of thousands of refugees forced from their homes by the Islamist-led violence.

Many of the Malian refugees are now living at the M'Bera camp but news of a proposal for UN peacekeepers has many hopeful they could soon return home.

On Wednesday (February 6th), France made a formal request to the Security Council to prepare UN peacekeepers for deployment to northern Mali, once French military operations in the region end.

French Ambassador to the UN Gérard Araud called for the world body to accelerate the deployment of peacekeepers in order to protect civilians from potential human rights abuses.

However, Radio France International reported on February 7th that the deployment may only happen in March or April.

A number of Malian refugees have reported witnessing atrocities against civilians committed by Mali's jihadist rebels. Refugees fleeing the war in Mali saw summary executions and amputations committed by the rebels, who sought to impose Sharia law in areas their forces controlled, Al Jazeera reported.

Nearly 150,000 people have crossed borders to flee the war, while the war has uprooted and internally displaced another 230,000, AFP reported on January 20th, citing the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Zakiyatou Oualett Halatine, spokeswoman for the Association of Refugees and Victims of Repression in Azawad (ARVRA), welcomed the news of France's call for UN peacekeepers.

"I think that what the Malian refugees in Mauritania need is the provision of appropriate conditions for the return to their country, land and normal lives without fear. If the peacekeeping forces will ensure that, then they will go back to their homes," she told Magharebia.

"UN peacekeeping forces are present in all areas that have experienced a conflict," she added. "What refugees need as a substitute for their suffering is to be enabled to run their own lives."

Ibrahim Ag Bibi, a Malian who fled the war and is now living at M'Bera refugee camp, said he was encouraged by the peacekeeper proposal.

"This step is very important and welcomed, because sending those troops would spread security in the hearts of refugees who are fearful of reprisals," he said.

Ag Bibi would not rule out returning to his home in northern Mali once the region is cleared of hard line terrorist who kill people and whip women.

"There is no doubt that armed terrorist groups are the cause of so many of us leaving our homes and fleeing to Mauritania, for fear of killing and harassment," he added.

Mohamed Ould Oubeida Sharif, a journalist who covers the plight of refugees at the M'Bera camp, cautiously welcomed word of the potential arrival of UN Peacekeepers.

"There is no doubt that sending international troops to northern Mali may relatively contribute to the return of refugees to their homes," he told Magharebia. "Yet their presence should be large and well-armed in order to confront suicide operations expected to be conducted by some terrorists."

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  1. Anonymous thumb

    aasabah 2013-3-17

    We call for a determination of the fate of Sahrawi people. We call on Arab Maghreb countries to take into consideration the interests of the Sahrawi people.


  2. Anonymous thumb

    saaid 2013-3-16

    Fierce days are coming and their turn in hell is coming. They just have to be ready. As for us, may God grant us patience for our Muslim brothers, God willing, in paradise!


  3. Anonymous thumb

    عبد الله 2013-3-13

    In the name of God the most gracious the most merciful. "And do not kill the soul which Allah has forbidden [to be killed] except by [legal] right."


  4. Anonymous thumb

    souad 2013-3-13

    O Lord relieve the Muslims of distress and protect them o Lord!


  5. Anonymous thumb

    said 2013-3-10

    Well, you have memories ladies and gentlemen. Islamist terrorists in Algeria killed their parents, brothers and sisters in the name of God and even babies (angels). Yes, Madani, Mezrag and other member in the Islamic Salvation Front, the Islamic Armed Group, the Salafi group for preaching and fighting mercilessly killed innocent people. And here you are now judging a ghost army in Mali. Why don't you judge Algerian Islamists?


  6. Anonymous thumb

    abdelhamid 2013-3-10

    O Lord support Islam and Muslims!


  7. Anonymous thumb

    kamal 2013-3-8

    Shame on you, let the people live!


  8. Anonymous thumb

    SAM AMMARI 2013-3-6

    Thousands of unarmed civilians die every day without any guilt. What for? Nothing! Everything will perish except God the Almighty.


  9. Anonymous thumb

    brahimmohamed65@ 2013-3-4

    Have you no shame?


  10. Anonymous thumb

    أبو أنيس 2013-3-3

    The animated momie Béji Caid Sebsi has divided Tunisians into two categories. The first is that of the tenants which means that they aren't the sons of Tunisia. He thus refers to the sons of Ennahda. While the second category is that of landlords. He means owners of land; as if Ennahda sons and people who support them aren't the sons of Tunisia. This division at this time in particular can emanate only from someone who has lost reason and has become senile. Have some shame man, stay home and return to God maybe He will forgive some of the sins you have committed.


  11. Anonymous thumb

    fati 2013-2-27

    San, freedom is my right now.


  12. Anonymous thumb

    meriame 2013-2-26

    I'm very sad because there are people there.


  13. Anonymous thumb

    belgartit 2013-2-22

    There is no power and no will but from God the greatest!


  14. Anonymous thumb

    kader 2013-2-20

    If the states are really Muslim, the situation will improve.


  15. Anonymous thumb

    amine 2013-2-20

    As far as I am concerned, I like this site.


  16. Anonymous thumb

    majbour youssef 2013-2-20

    "Everyone on earth will perish, and there will remain the Face of your Lord, Owner of Majesty and Honor." God is sufficient for me and he is the best disposer of affairs!


  17. Anonymous thumb

    arabi 2013-2-20

    Shame on you, by God, to kill innocents! You claim to respect human rights while you know nothing about them!


  18. Anonymous thumb

    abde rrahim 2013-2-19

    Salam. How are you everyone? I am a Moroccan national from dear Tangier to dear Lagouira. I feel sorry for what happened across the Islamic World. We should return to God. Bye.


  19. Anonymous thumb

    ali bhaloui 2013-2-19

    Well you have memories, ladies and gentlemen. The Islamist terrorists in Algeria killed their parents, brothers and sisters in the name of Allah—even babies (the angels). Oh, yes, Madani Mezrag and the other FIS, GIA, MIA and GSP acolytes killed innocents without any mercy and now you are judging a fantom army in Mali. Why didn’t you judge the Algerian Islamists?


  20. Anonymous thumb

    madrid 2013-2-19

    This is a shame, do they have no shame? I tell them God is our mandate, you're not humans!


  21. Anonymous thumb

    cherifa 2013-2-19

    Never, this is not our Islam!


  22. Anonymous thumb

    بلال عف 2013-2-18

    This is the bitter reality!


  23. Anonymous thumb

    mouhssin 2013-2-17

    I can't find anything to say to terrorists except that God is sufficient for me and He is the best disposer of affairs!


  24. Anonymous thumb

    amir 2013-2-17

    In the name of God the most beneficent the most merciful. You are cheap and shameless!


  25. Anonymous thumb

    oussama 2013-2-15

    I like this site.


  26. Anonymous thumb

    bila 2013-2-15

    Infidels disbelieve in the Lord of the Worlds and they do not fear God, they are the children of hell, they have no honor.


  27. Anonymous thumb

    سراج 2013-2-13

    I respect your comments, however, I am sure the situation will change, God willing! With my respects to the reporter Laabidi, who are the terrorist groups?


  28. Anonymous thumb

    nadia 2013-2-13

    In the name of God the most gracious the most merciful. Are you cheap or have no shame? How can you do this to people? Shame on you o dogs! I am expressing my feelings about what goes on in Mali. Is this what a brother does to his brother? Are these the recommendations of the merciful Lord?


    • Anonymous thumb

      djibril fama traore 2013-3-22

      In reality, I wonder if they aren't already in Hell well before their deaths.


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