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A direct result of the Wetsern-sponsored war in Lybia...really sad to read

869 Views 6 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  Matthias Offodile
Mali: Rebeldes vão criar estado islâmico no norte do país

28 de Maio de 2012

Os grupos rebeldes que controlam o norte do Mali concretizaram um acordo para criar um estado islâmico no território.

O anúncio foi feito por um porta-voz do movimento do movimento tuaregue para a libertação do Azawad que até ontem (domingo) defendia a criação de um estado laico.

A fusão dos separatistas com os combatentes do grupo islâmico Ansar Dine, próximo da Al-Qaeda, ocorre dois meses de um golpe de estado em Bamako ter aberto a via aos rebeldes para conquistar a zona desértica do norte do país, com uma área maior do que a França.

O anúncio representa o cenário temido pela Comunidade de Estados da África Ocidental, que em Abril tinha ameaçado mobilizar os seus meios militares para evitar que o território caísse nas mãos dos rebeldes.

Os grupos armados tinham conquistado o norte do território em apenas algumas semanas, aproveitando-se do vazio de poder criado pelo golpe militar que tinha derrubado o antigo presidente do país em Março.
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6 May 2012 Last updated at 11:49 GMT

Mali Islamist militants 'destroy' Timbuktu saint's tomb

The Djingareyber mosque is one of the cultural sites protected by Unesco in Timbuktu, Mali (file photo) Timbuktu is the site of three great medieval

Islamist fighters said to be linked to al-Qaeda have destroyed the tomb of a local Muslim saint in the Malian town of Timbuktu, officials and locals say.

The gunmen attacked the shrine and set it on fire, saying it was contrary to Islam, according to the official.:eek:hno:

Tuareg rebels and Islamist fighters took control of Timbuktu, a UN heritage site, after a military coup in March.

Unesco said the town's capture could endanger its "outstanding architectural wonders" .

Residents said armed men from the Islamist group Ansar Dine threatened locals going to worship at the grave of Sidi Mahmoud Ben Amar.

"What you are doing is haram! (forbidden). Seek help from God directly rather than the dead," one of the gunmen said, according to a resident quoted by the Reuters news agency.

A local politician, El Hadj Baba Haidara, told Reuters about the atttack:

"They attacked the grave, broke doors, windows and wooden gates that protect it. They brought it outside and burn it," he said. "This tomb is sacred, it is too difficult to bear."

A local official said the fighters had threatened to destroy other saints' tombs, according to the AFP news agency.

Strict Islamists regard shines as idolatrous, while some Muslims, especially Sufis, regard them as an accepted part of Muslim worship.

On its website, Unesco, the UN's cultural agency, says Timbuktu is the location of three great mosques dating back to the 14th century, as well 16 cemeteries and mausoleums.

Founded in the 12th Century, Timbuktu became wealthy at the nexus of important trading routes for salt and gold, reaching its apogee in the 15th and 16th centuries.

It became a major intellectual and religious centre, and still houses tens of thousands of manuscripts, some dating back centuries.

Rebels demanding independence for a Tuareg homeland and fighters of Ansar Dine, which is said to be linked to al-Qaeda, took advantage of the chaos that followed the March coup to overrun the northern half of Mali.

The coup leaders in Bamako said they had toppled President Amadou Toumani Toure because he failed to give sufficient support to troops battling Tuareg rebels in the north.

Under international pressure, they later handed back power to a civilian government, but remain influential.
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23 May 2012 Last updated at 00:41 GMT

Life in Timbuktu under Islamist rule

By Robin Banerji BBC World Service

An Islamist militant group has taken control of the fabled city of Timbuktu in northern Mali. Although the city was once a centre of Islamic learning, the group has objected to some local practises.

So what is their agenda? And will they respect the city's unique literary heritage?

Since seizing the city in March, Ansar Dine has targeted Timbuktu's precious Muslim heritage.

The shrine of a 15th Century sufi saint Sidi Mahmoud Ben Amar has been attacked, according to Lazare Eloundou Assomo of Unesco.

"The entrance gate of the mausoleum was completely destroyed and burnt," Mr Assomo told the BBC World Service. "The curtain that protected the shrine was destroyed."

Timbuktu is known as the city of the 333 saints, says Alida Jay Boye, author of Hidden Treasures of Timbuktu.

The fundamentalist Salafi branch of Islam objects to the veneration of saints' tombs, maintaining that it amounts to saint worship.

"Salafis do not want there to be any intermediary between the believer and God. It looks like Ansar Dine is going after shrines just like other groups have done in Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia," she says.

Neil Whitehead, a former hotelier in Timbuktu, has fled to Morocco because of the recent unrest.

He says that conditions are deteriorating in the city.

"The Salafis are turning on the locals, raiding their homes and taking anything of value, together with any food. All shops are shut and, in the words of our friends, 'everything is broken'," he said

"They have introduced a form of Sharia and the locals feel like prisoners in their houses."

His account is confirmed by Mari Touri, a Timbuktu resident.

"There is no food in the shops, no stocks of supplies, because everything in Timbuktu comes from Bamako in the south and it cannot get through at the moment."

Another resident, Youba Ag Moha, said that the situation in the city was "calm" but that government offices were closed and there was a problem with the electricity supply.

There are also concerns for the city's wealth of manuscripts.

Bars in Timbuktu have reportedly been set on fire

Schools reopened

Stephanie Diakite, an expert on the city's literature, says she is worried about Timbuktu's public and private libraries, and is calling for the heritage and the scholars who work on it to be protected.

Minor damage has been done to the Ahmed Baba Library, which houses some 40,000 manuscripts, a fraction of the historical manuscripts in the city.

Ansar Dine militiamen are guarding the building, which is currently closed to the public.

"Ansar Dine says that is here to protect the city," says Mr Touri.

Ansar Dine has allowed schools to reopen in Timbuktu and another northern city, Gao, but only on condition that boys and girls sit separately.

'Wrong mosques':eek:hno:

Ansar Dine is led by Iyad Ag Ghaly, a Tuareg from an aristocratic family.

He is no simple ideological Islamist.

He has been a player in Malian Tuareg politics since at least the 1990s, when he led a Tuareg rebellion against the governments of Mali and neighbouring Niger.

Following the end of the rebellion, he was pardoned and was involved in negotiating the release of the many Western hostages held in the Sahara.

Mr Ghaly's career has oscillated between opposition and cooperation with the Malian government.

In 2006 he was involved in another abortive rebellion. But in 2007 he helped negotiate a settlement between the rebels and the Malian state.

Eventually in 2008, he was sent to Saudi Arabia as Mali's consul in Jeddah but he was recalled soon afterwards.

Jeremy Keenan, an academic expert on the politics and peoples of the Sahara, suggests that Mr Ghaly had become involved in Salafi circles while in Saudi Arabia.

"He was spending a lot of time in the wrong mosques," Mr Keenan said.

Mr Ghaly returned to Mali and seems to have taken advantage of the 2011 uprising to resume his old role as a leader of Tuareg opposition.

The Islamists' flag is now flying over Timbuktu's main military barracks

Mr Keenan estimates the current strength of Ansar Dine to be between 100 and 200 fighters, some of whom are under 18.

It is a far smaller group than the force of at least 3,000 men under the control of the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad, the MNLA, a secular group fighting for Tuareg independence in northern Mali's desert regions.

The two groups together seized control of the north, after the army was distracted when it staged a coup. But relations between the secular MNLA and Ansar Dine are poor.

In April, the MNLA declared independence for Azawad, its name for the three northern provinces of Mali where most ethnic Tuaregs live.

Ansar Dine has rejected independence, however, claiming that it is fighting "a holy war" in favour of Islamic rule.

For its part, the MNLA claims that it has the situation in hand and will turn its attention to Ansar Dine in due time.

Yet so far it seems to have made no moves to do so.

According to Timbuktu resident Youba Ag Moha, the MNLA controls the airport, while Ansar Dine controls the military base opposite the grand mosque and "commands" the centre of the city.

Mr Keenan suggests that Ansar Dine's continuing freedom of movement may be because it enjoys the protection and support of Algeria, Mali's northern neighbour.

But why would secular Algeria wish to support Islamists on its southern flank?

The answer, suggests Mr Keenan, is that these groups allow Algeria to project power in what it sees as its sphere of influence while simultaneously justifying the existence of Algeria's security apparatus.

Whatever the truth of the matter, in the meantime, Ansar Dine's black flag is flying over Timbuktu.

Jihadis in the Sahara

* Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM)
* Ansar Dine (Defenders of the Faith)
* Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO)

Treasures of Timbuktu

* Timbuktu was a centre of Islamic learning from the 13th to the 17th Centuries
* Over 500,000 manuscripts survive in public libraries and private collections
* Books on religion, law, literature and science
* Letters between rulers, advisers and merchants on subjects as varied as taxation, commerce, marriage, divorce, adoption, and prostitution
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27 May 2012

Mali Tuareg and Islamist rebels agree on Islamist state

"It is true that an accord has been signed," Col Bouna Ag Attayoub, a MNLA commander in Timbuktu, told the BBC. More than 300,000 people have fled northern Mali due to the rebellion

Two rebel groups that seized northern Mali two months ago have agreed to merge and turn their territory into an Islamist state, both sides say.

The Tuareg MNLA, a secular rebel group, and the Islamist group Ansar Dine signed the deal in the town of Gao, spokespeople said.

Ansar Dine, which has ties to al-Qaeda, has already begun to impose Sharia, or Islamic law, in towns such as Timbuktu.

The groups took advantage of a coup in March to seize the territory.

West Africa's chief mediator for the Mali crisis told the AFP news agency that he hoped the merger would simplify negotiations with the rebels.

Burkina Faso Foreign Minister Djibrill Bassole also called on both groups to renounce terror.

Mali's Communications Minister Hamadoun Toure told the BBC that other countries should help Mali tackle al-Qaeda in the region.

'Accord signed'

Capt Amadou Sanogo seized power in March after claiming the then president, Amadou Toumani Toure, was not doing enough to quash the rebellion.

Faced with mounting international pressure and sanctions, he was forced to step down only three weeks later, but is still thought to wield power behind the scenes.

"It is true that an accord has been signed," Col Bouna Ag Attayoub, a MNLA commander in Timbuktu, told the BBC. "The Islamic Republic of Azawad is now an independent sovereign state."

Previously, the MNLA had remained secular, resisting Ansar Dine's efforts to impose Islamic law in towns. Meanwhile, Ansar Dine had rejected the MNLA's call for an independent state.

Residents said there was celebratory gunfire in Gao and Timbuktu after the agreement.

More than 300,000 people have fled northern Mali since the rebels took the territory in the days following the coup.

Regional bloc Ecowas has said it is preparing to send 3,000 troops to Mali to help the country reclaim its northern territory, but no date has been set for the force to arrive.

Mali's interim president, Dioncounda Traore, is receiving medical tests in France after being beaten unconscious by protesters who supported the coup.

It is thought that soldiers allowed the demonstrators into Mr Traore's office, which is next to the presidential palace. Ecowas has warned of sanctions if the military are found to be involved.

Mali coup: The story so far

* 22 March: Junta seizes power, accusing President Amadou Toumani Toure of not doing enough to tackle rebels
* 28 March: Mali suspended by regional bloc, Ecowas
* 1 April: Rebels seize whole of north, including historic city of Timbuktu
* 6 April: Tuareg rebels declare independence for the north - not recognised internationally
* 12 April: Speaker of parliament Dioncounda Traore sworn in as Mali's interim leader
* 17 April: Junta arrests several allies of former President Toure
* 19 April: Mr Toure and his family flee to Senegal
* 20 May: Ecowas deal for Traore to stay for a year
* 21 May: Interim President Dioncounda Traore beaten unconscious by protesters

Ecowas is just so hopeless!!Instead of moving into Mali and destroy those gangsters who absue/violate the word and the true religion of islam, they cannot get its act together - once again.

And the Westerners seemed to have lost their tongues as Afghanistan or elsewhere they are "ready" to invade but in Mali´s conflict which is directly linked to the invasion of Lybia not a single word of criticism has surfaced from the officials.
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-Unesco said the town's capture could endanger its "outstanding architectural wonders".
-could endanger its "outstanding architectural wonders"
-its "outstanding architectural wonders"
Mali rebel groups 'clash in Kidal'

8 June 2012 Last updated at 23:51 GMT

Refugees at UN refugee camp north of Niamey, Niger An estimated 300,000 people have fled northern Mali since the rebels seized power
Continue reading the main story

Two rebel groups that seized northern Mali two months ago have clashed following protests in the town of Kidal, witnesses say.

A source told the BBC that fighting broke out between Tuareg MNLA rebels and the Ansar Dine Islamist group on the third day of protests in the town.

Last month, the two groups agreed to merge and turn their vast northern territory into an Islamist state.

The groups seized the territory in March following a coup in Mali.

Earlier this week, a Kidal resident told the BBC that 500 people had protested over the imposition of Islamic Sharia law.

It is estimated that more than 300,000 people have fled northern Mali since the rebels took the territory.

Regional bloc Ecowas has said it will send 3,000 troops to Mali to help the country reclaim its northern territory, but no timetable has been set.

Correspondents say Thursday night's fighting in Kidal is the first serious confrontation between the two rebel groups.

"The crisis is becoming tribal," said Malian journalist Tiegoum Boubeye Maiga, quoted by AFP news agency.

"After having fought the Malian army together... the two groups are now fighting on a tribal basis. It is very dangerous."

Sources told the BBC that two people had died in Thursday's fighting. Calm had returned by Friday, witnesses said.

In another development, residents of Timbuktu said they had formed an armed group to drive out Islamists currently in control of the far northern town, AFP reported.

Hamidou Maiga, a former army officer, said that the Patriots' Resistance Movement for the Liberation of Timbuktu opposes the secession of northern Mali and "will engage in military action against the invaders until they leave".

The instability of Mali has caused alarm across the region.

The president of neighbouring Niger, Mahamadou Issoufou, told the news channel France 24 on Thursday that jihadists from Afghanistan and Pakistan were training militant groups inside northern Mali.

The MNLA is a secular group but Ansar Dine has ties to al-Qaeda.

Malian army officer Amadou Sanogo seized power in March after claiming the then president, Amadou Toumani Toure, was not doing enough to quash the rebellion in the north.

He was forced to step down three weeks later but is thought to wield power behind the scenes.

Mali's interim President, Dioncounda Traore, is recovering from surgery in a Paris hospital after being beaten unconscious in his office by protesters who supported the coup.
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Ancient Shrines in Mali Destroyed by Islamist Extremists

By Shawn Humphrey | Yahoo! Contributor Network – Mon, Jul 2, 2012

UNESCO sites in Timbuktu are being destroyed by the group Ansar Dine, according to Reuters. All 16 of the historic main mausoleum sites in the city have been targeted for destruction.:bash::bash::bash:

Here's a closer look at the destruction of the tombs.

* Sites destroyed included the tombs of Sidi Elmety, Mahamane Elmety, Sidi Mahmoud, Sidi Moctar, Alpha Moya, Cheikh el-Kebir and Cheick Sidi Amar. Local residents treated the sites as the tombs of saints, but Andsar Dine claimed that locals venerated them as Gods.

* An Ansar Dine spokesman said that while he and others were aware of the international outcry against their actions, the members of the group didn't care. "We are subject to religion and not to international opinion. Building on graves is contrary to Islam. We are destroying the mausoleums because it is ordained by our religion," he told Reuters over the phone.

* AFP also reported that men who were destroying the sacred sites had also claimed they would destroy iconic mud mosques, including the Djingareyber mosque built in 1327.:bash::bash:

* The attacks are reminiscent of the Taliban destruction of two 6th-century Buddha statues in 2001.
The statues were located at Bamiyan in central Afghanistan.

* Mali's government called the attacks "destructive fury, comparable to war crimes," according to AFP. The government in the south lost northern Mali to a combination of Tuareg rebels and Islamist militia seeking to impose the strictest possible interpretation of Islamic law on the region. The al-Qaida-affiliated groups recently beat out the Tuareg separatist movement for regional dominance.

* Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that the worsening humanitarian and security crisis, along with reports of the destruction of the mausoleums were cause for concern, according to a press release from the United Nations News Center .

* Ki-moon's spokesperson said on Sunday that "Such attacks against cultural heritage sites are totally unjustified," according to the press release.

* The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union had asked the United Nations Security Council to authorize deployment of military forces through a mandate, but the request was not authorized at that time. The request was made two weeks ago in New York.

* The World Heritage Committee had designated the city of Timbuktu and the the Tomb of Askia as being appropriate for placement on the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) List of World Heritage in Danger on Thursday.

* As reported by AFP, UNESCO session chairwoman Yeleonor Mitrofanova told an annual meeting of the organization in St. Petersburg, "I appeal to all those engaged in the conflict in Timbuktu to exercise their responsibility - for the sake of future generations, spare the legacy of their past."

Shawn Humphrey is a former contributor to The Flint Journal and an amateur Africanist, focusing his personal studies on human rights and political issues on the continent.

And more tombs got destroyed just two days ago...if that continues the beautiful ancient city of Timbuktu will soon be a thing of the past for good.

Islamists destroy 2 more tombs in Mali's Timbuktu

Posted: Jul 11, 2012 1:32 AM Updated: Jul 11, 2012 2:12 AM

Associated Press

BAMAKO, Mali (AP) - Islamic extremists destroyed another two mausoleums in the northern Malian city of Timbuktu on Tuesday, attacking a graveyard attached to the city's most picturesque mosque, according to a historian specializing in the area's heritage.

Salem Ould Elhadj, a researcher at the Ahmed Baba Institute in Timbuktu, said the members of the radical sect set out with picks and shovels to raze the tombs of two of Timbuktu's scholars, Baba Babadje and Mahamane Foulane, both of whom are considered saints.

Their mausoleums are in a cemetery attached to the nearly 700-year-old Djingareyber mosque, built in 1325. It's made of mud and resembles a ziggurat and is one of the most recognizable symbols of the fabled city, often reproduced on postcards.

Both the mosque and the tombs are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Ansar Dine, the sect which seized control of northern Mali last month, says they do not recognize any international law, only the law of the Quran. Spokesman Oumar Ould Hamaha said that they have "divine orders" to destroy any grave that is more than 20 centimeters (7.87 inches) tall because anything taller encourages people to orient their prayer toward the deceased rather than toward God.

On Fridays it was common to see residents of Timbuktu heading to the cemetery to pay their respects to the saints, many of whom were ironically Quranic scholars. It was customary for people to take a few grains of sand from the tombs to bring back to their homes, a gesture intended to transport the blessings of the saints into their personal lives.

Hamaha says residents of Timbuktu need to get their priorities straight and stop confusing the saints with Allah. He said that the destruction, while painful, is for their own good.

Mali, once considered a stable democracy, has been upended by twin crises. In March, renegade soldiers overthrew the democratically elected president. In the aftermath of the coup, rebels including Ansar Dine grabbed control of the country's north. In June, the Islamic rebel faction declared themselves the de facto rulers of the north, saying they plan to impose Shariah law in the territory, an area as large as France.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

I wonder where the "democracy-loving" and the "peace & justice loving nations" like the USA, France and UK are now to help the Malians against these forces of evil???
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