[QODLink]
Inside Story
A military solution for Mali rebellion?
As northern towns suffer increasing repression by rebels we ask if regional military intervention can stop the violence.
Last Modified: 27 Sep 2012 11:04

Rebels in northern Mali are growing increasingly repressive as they impose their strict interpretation of Islamic law, or sharia, throughout the region.

The situation is being highlighted at the United Nations on Wednesday. Mali wants a resolution backing a regional military force to help recapture the north.

In March, Amadou Toumani, the former president, was deposed in a military coup. Soldiers accused him of ignoring a Tuareg rebellion in the north.

"The three groups are the same…enforcing a weird so-called Islamic law exactly like the Taliban in Afghanistan in the late 1990s…preventing music, whipping/flogging women for wearing perfume or jewellery. It's a massive abuse of human rights and totally contradictory to African culture."

- Renaud Girard, Le Figaro magazine chief foreign correspondent

But the chaos that caused in the capital, Bamako, allowed the Tuareg to take control of the northern areas. And by May, there was a new interim government in Mali.

The Tuareg, helped by the Islamic group Ansar Dine, declared northern Mali an independent state.

But the Tuareg have different demands than did the Ansar Dine and other Islamic groups, which want to impose Islamic law, and the Tuareg were forced from the region.

Two-thirds of Mali is now controlled by Ansar Dine, the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO), and their ally the al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.

Their territory includes Timbuktu, Kidal and Gao, as well as the strategic town of Douentza.

Rights groups say rebels in Mali have committed serious abuses.

Human Rights Watch has accused rebels of recruiting hundreds of children, and of using murder, flogging and amputation as punishment.

Inside Story asks: What is the government in Mali doing? Will there be an international military intervention?
 
Joining presenter Laura Kyle for the discussion are guests: Sunny Ugoh, the director of communications for ECOWAS, the West African regional bloc; Jean-Marie Fardeau, the France director for Human Rights Watch; and Renaud Girard, the chief foreign correspondent for Le Figaro.

"The situation is very serious and in all the cities [including] the smaller ones the level of human rights violations is increasing and the interpretation of the sharia by the three Islamist group is very tough and very violent."

Jean-Marie Fardeau, the France director for Human Rights Watch

442

Source:
Al Jazeera
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Western fighters have streamed into the Middle East to help 'liberate' Arab countries such as Syria and Libya.
The Pakistani government is proposing reform of the nation's madrassas, which are accused of fostering terrorism.
Weaving and handicrafts are being re-taught to a younger generation of Iraqi Kurds, but not without challenges.
The author argues that in the new economy, it's people, not skills or majors, that have lost value.
Featured
Up to 23,000 federal prisoners could qualify for clemency under new Justice Department initiative.
After years of rapid growth, Argentina is bracing for another economic crisis as inflation eats up purchasing power.
Deaths of 13 Sherpas in Nepal has shone a light on dangerous working conditions in the Everest-climbing industry.
Al Jazeera investigation uncovers allegations of beatings and rape in Kenya's ongoing anti-terrorism operation.
Incumbent Joyce Banda has a narrow lead, but anything is possible in Malawi's May 20 elections.
join our mailing list