Newspaper article International Herald Tribune

Mali's Many Troubles

Newspaper article International Herald Tribune

Mali's Many Troubles

Article excerpt

The United Nations plan to support the ouster of extremist Islamists faces many challenges.

The extremist Islamist militias that seized control of northern Mali in April have imposed their fanatical beliefs and barbaric punishments on the region's defenseless people, sending tens of thousands of refugees fleeing into neighboring Mauritania. And they have given sanctuary to notorious terrorist groups like Nigeria's Boko Haram and Algeria's Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, a group that Washington suspects may have been involved in the September attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya.

Neighboring countries are eager to help Mali's army expel these militias. Last month, the United Nations Security Council unanimously approved a resolution supporting an African-led military force of 3,300 to begin preparing for that mission. But there are formidable obstacles, the biggest being the political ambitions and military ineffectiveness of Mali's army.

Army officers opened the door to the extremists in March by overthrowing the democratically elected government. They claimed the government was not letting them wage an effective fight against the Libyan-armed Tuareg rebels who streamed into northern Mali after the overthrow of Muammar el-Qaddafi.

But following the coup, first the Tuareg rebels and then the Islamist militias easily took over Mali's desert north, a region the size of France. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.