Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

1/17/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

France promises swift and terrible justice for Islamist insurgents in West African nation

"Stopping the terrorists - it's done," French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said of operation s in the West African nation of Mali. "Today we started taking care of the terrorists' rear bases," vowing that France's military operation in Mali would not be a long one.

France launched the operation alongside the Malian army to counter a push south by the insurgents who had threatened to advance on the capital Bamako last week.

France launched the operation alongside the Malian army to counter a push south by the insurgents who had threatened to advance on the capital Bamako last week.

Article Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

1/17/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Africa

Keywords: France, Mali, Ansar Dine, Timbuktu, armed conflict


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Asked how long France would be partaking in the conflict, Fabius replied "it is a question of weeks."

In the meantime, French warplanes have struck further north in Mali, bombing Islamist strongholds and forcing the insurgents to flee. Preparations for the African intervention force took shape in the capital.

Rafale fighter planes struck bases used by al-Qaeda-linked fighters in Gao this weekend, the main city in northern Mali.

French warplanes also attacked rebel stockpiles of munitions and fuel further north at Afhabo, 50 kilometers from Kidal. The area has long been a stronghold of Ansar al Din, whose name translates to Defenders of Faith.

Bombardments continue near the border with Mauritania, according to witnesses and a statement from Doctors Without Borders. In a move that signals even greater international cooperation, Algeria granted France permission to fly through its airspace to reach its targets. Algiers had previously been vehemently opposed to any foreign intervention in Mali.

France launched the operation alongside the Malian army to counter a push south by the insurgents who had threatened to advance on the capital Bamako last week.

In Gao, under the control of the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa, say the French airstrikes had leveled the Islamists' position and forced them to flee.

"We can see smoke billowing from the base. There isn't a single Islamist left in town. They have all fled," a teacher said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

"The French have done a good job. Nearly all the Islamists have fled Gao," one anonymous local official said. "Those who are still there are hidden in houses and are waiting nightfall to flee."

"What we need now is for the [Malian] army to come here so that the Islamists can't come back," a young student said.

Timbuktu, the scene where Islamist insurgents have destroyed many holy temples, says they are eager for French jets to arrive.

In Europe, French authorities were on high alert over fears of a backlash on home soil. French President Francois Hollande has since held a cabinet meeting devoted to the Mali crisis.

Aides have advised Hollande that the militants as better trained and armed than expected.

"What has struck us markedly is how modern their equipment is and their ability to use it," one said, referring to the rebels' hit on a French helicopter, which fatally wounded its pilot, France's only confirmed death to date in the conflict.

---


Pope Francis calls for your 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2014
Respect for Women:
That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.
Vocations: That many young people may accept the Lordís invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.



Comments


More Africa

Andromeda Strain? Ebola outbreak in West Africa is new strain of disease Watch

Image of Using analysis of blood samples from infected patients, researchers determined that while the Guinean form of the Ebola virus (EBOV) showed a 97 percent similarity to the Zaire strain, the disease was not introduced from Central Africa.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A deadly outbreak of the Ebola virus, a virulent incurable disease where the body's internal organs "melt" in ongoing in West Africa. To date, 122 deaths in Guinea and 13 deaths in Liberia have been blamed on the disease. Since Ebola is endemic to the countries ... continue reading


IMPLACABLE EVIL: Militant Muslim group Boko Haram terrorizes Nigeria Watch

Image of Abubakar Shekau, the leader of Boko Haram has escalated the violence. The group murdered and kidnapped Westerners and started a bombing campaign that targeted churches, mosques and government buildings.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Boko Haram, whose name means that "Western education is sin" in the native Hausa language of Nigeria, has leaped once again into international headlines with the abduction of more than 100 schoolgirls. The group has bombed schools, churches and mosques; ... continue reading


Algerian presidential election ends in violence, much disappointment Watch

Image of Speaking in a barely audible whisper, Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, looking wan and frail, waved to the crowds at the announcement of his electoral victory.

By Kaci Racelma (Algiers, Algeria)

The Algerian presidential election ended in accusations, invectives and violence. The disappointment here is palpable: Elderly and infirm incumbent president, 77-year-old Abdelaziz Bouteflika has been re-elected to another five-year term. Left incapacitated ... continue reading


Vowing not to repeat mistakes of Arab Spring, Mauritanians forge new democracy Watch

Image of The group aims to promote the virtues of citizenship against a backdrop of cultural tribalism, regionalism and racism.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

For the first time, the African nation of Mauritania is in the position to lay down the foundations of a democratic government. That nation's power is now being officially handed over from the military to civilian authorities. It won't be a simple or easy ... continue reading


Speaking out: Reporters Without Borders tell U.S. Secretary Kerry about Algeria's issue Watch

Image of Candidates point out that fraud will play a large part in Algeria's presidential election.

By Kaci Racelma (Algiers, Algeria)

United States Secretary of State John Kerry made a two-day visit to Algiers on the second and third day of April. Kerry touched down in the African nation for strategic dialogue between the U.S. and Algeria. Viewed as an important opportunity to revive economic ... continue reading


Africa's Sahel region still under iron fist of terrorist groups Watch

Image of Young people living there in poverty fall prey to al-Qaeda recruiters who bribe their families with money.

By Kaci Racelma (Algiers, Algeria)

Composed of the nations of Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania and Niger, the Sahel region of Africa remains under the stranglehold of several terrorist groups. France, along with its allies are the chief targets of attack here, which are mainly in retaliation for ... continue reading


Militant Muslims abduct more than 100 schoolgirls at gunpoint Watch

Image of The kidnappings took place after midnight in Chibok in the Borno state, which is a longtime stronghold for Boko Haram.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Over a hundred female students have been abducted by gunmen at a government secondary school in Chibok, Nigeria. The mass kidnapping is believed to have been carried out by members of Boko Haram, a militant Islamic group that is believed to have killed 75 ... continue reading


Boko Haram suspected in numerous Nigerian massacres Watch

Image of A screengrab taken on March 24 from a video shows a man claiming to be the leader of Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Islamist insurgency group Boko Haram is suspected in a string of massacres throughout the African nation of Nigeria. The latest was an attack on a village in northeast state of Borno, where 60 people were killed. Eight people were killed in a separate ... continue reading


Worst famine since 80s looms over Christian South Sudan Watch

Image of In addition to rebel factions within the government, Islamic militants have also struck in the northern portion of the country, displacing millions.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

South Sudan is poised to experience the worst famine in Africa since the 1980s unless aid is sent to the region by the end of May. About 3.7 million people, nearly all Christians, are at risk of famine unless the world community sends aid quickly. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Lives of 50,000 undernourished children on the line in war-torn South Sudan Watch

Image of There are more than 3.7 million people in South Sudan, including almost 740,000 children less than five years of age. These children are at a high risk of food insecurity, with many already forced to eat wild

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The youngest -- and henceforth the most vulnerable citizen's of the world's newest nation is under threat of hunger and mass starvation.  According to the United Nations, 50,000 children younger than five years of age are likely to die in war-torn South ... continue reading


All Africa News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 10:34, 37-43
34 Then Peter addressed them, 'I now really ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23
1 Alleluia! Give thanks to Yahweh for he is good, for ... Read More

Gospel, John 20:1-9
1 It was very early on the first day of the week and ... Read More

Reading 2, Colossians 3:1-4
1 Since you have been raised up to be with Christ, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 20th, 2014 Image

St. Marian
April 20: When St. Mamertinus was Abbot of the monastery which St. ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter