Skip to comments.Mali's new leader threatens 'total war' against Tuareg rebels
Posted on 04/13/2012 10:04:25 PM PDT by bruinbirdman
Mali's new interim president, who took over from coup leaders on Thursday, has threatened "total war" against the Tuareg and Islamist rebels who have seized half the country since the putsch three weeks ago.
Mali's Interim President Dioncounda Traore
Former parliament speaker Dioncounda Traore took the oath of office in the west African nation at a ceremony on Thursday attended by, among others, junta leader Captain Amadou Sanogo, who initially grabbed power in the March 22 coup.
Mali's new interim leader - a 70-year-old mathematician turned politician who speaks six languages - is expected to soon name a prime minister, and to organise elections within 40 days.
The mutineers justified last month's coup by accusing the former government of mishandling the Tuareg rebellion - but their action allowed the Tuareg and Islamist militants to take over a vast area in the desert north, effectively splitting the country.
Amid the disarray in the capital, they captured an area the size of France, including the ancient town of Timbuktu, bringing lawlessness to an area already gripped by drought and acute food shortages.
Traore said he was "aware of being the president of a country at war" and warned that the rebels must "stop the... pillaging, the rapes. They must leave the cities that they have occupied."
If they did not, he said, "we will not hesitate to wage a total and relentless war."
The Group of Eight rich nations voiced "deep concern for the deteriorating situation in northern Mali and the implications the current crisis has for the wider Sahel region, including the impending humanitarian crisis."
The G8 foreign ministers, meeting in Washington, said they had "reinforced their support for the territorial integrity of Mali... and urged all parties to ceasefire and engage in political talks
(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...
On the upside, Samarkand is still kinda safe so seeing the burial place of 'Tamerlane' can stay on my list. :-)
Hey , that is closer than Afghanistan,...easier to get bombs to their tents.