SAHEL: Displaced Malians burden food-insecure hostsPhoto: ReliefWebMap of areas affected by fighting and subsequent displacement
BAMAKO/DAKAR, – Some 12,000 Malians have fled fighting in the towns of Ménaka and Anderamboucane in northern Mali and reached already food-insecure villages around Tillabéri in western Niger, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Niger’s capital, Niamey.
The Malian refugees are spread across the villages of Mangaizé, Chinégodar, Koutoubou, Yassan and Ayorou in Niger, according to the Malian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with the bulk of them – an estimated 7,000 – in Chinégodar, which is usually home to 1,500, according to Franck Kuwonu at the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Niamey.
Fighting broke out between Touareg rebels and former soldiers from Libya, and the Malian army in mid-January. Rebel groups and former Libya fighters have reportedly acquired fresh weapons as a result of the Libya conflict and have launched a new movement, the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA), which calls for the creation of an independent state encompassing the regions of Gao, Kidal and Timbuktu in northern Mali.
His name is one with a very powerful and well-respected meaning – “Sword of Islam”. Yet the most prominent son of former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi, has never truely lived up to the meaning of his name. Maybe for that reason the Libyan opposition fighters labeled him “Saif al-Kufr” instead – Sword of Disbelief.
Today Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi was captured by captured by the forces of the Transitional Council in Obari in the South of Libya and taken to Tripolis in a plane.
For months the Gaddafi son had been living in hiding, releasing audio tapes in which he called the opposition enemies of Libya. “Go to hell you rats and NATO”, he said in a audio tape released in October. Read the rest of this entry »
5 February 2011
Insurgents operating as al Qaeda’s north African wing have been active in the Sahara desert and have kidnapped several foreigners, but until now most of their activities have been in areas of the desert south of Algeria’s borders.
“It seems that this is a group which was freed from prison a few months ago and which then joined al Qaeda and has now kidnapped this Italian woman,” the Algerian security source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters. Read the rest of this entry »