Skip to comments.Mali takes key town as nations ready more troops
Posted on 01/20/2013 4:06:26 PM PST by MinorityRepublican
Sevare, Mali (CNN) -- The Malian military has gained control of the central town of Diabaly, Mali, a key advance in the battle against Islamist militants in the north.
The country's forces retook the town without ground assistance from French troops, a military spokesman said. The French military confirmed that it provided only air support.
French officials later said Malian forces had managed to push the Islamists into the forest beyond Diabaly. But battles in the region continued to rage.
Rebel control over Diabaly was one of the chief concerns to Mali and France in trying to stop the Islamists' movement into the south. French involvement began after militants said January 10 that they had seized another town, Konna.
French and Malian forces retook the key town of Konna from militants Friday, a French source said.
As fighting continues, many people are being cut off and in need of basic supplies.
Read more: Six reasons events in Mali matter
France is considering sending more troops to assist the Malian military.
The number could top 2,500, French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Saturday. There are about 2,000 French troops in Mali so far, he told CNN affiliate France 3.
French President Francois Hollande said the offensive's mission is to destroy the terrorist groups that have taken root.
West African leaders are also discussing possibilities for additional forces. Regional leaders met Saturday in the Ivory Coast capital of Abidjan to discuss speeding up deployment of troops.
(Excerpt) Read more at cnn.com ...
This is the kind of fighting that western armies excel at: no confusion as to who the bad guyz are, clearly delineated fronts, no easy concealment among civilians. I can see why the French can so confidently say that they are going to sweep them out of the country entirely.
The only potential problem is that the Malian government is pretty worthless, so the French need to restore their efficiency a lot before leaving.
Most of the governments from central Africa south are pretty worthless. Everyone on the continent was better off when the countries were colonized.
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