“Gates of Hell”: France upping military presence in Mali conflict..Hostages taken at BP plant in Algeria
France is sending more troops to Mali to fight against al-Qaeda-linked militants. Paris claims the move is short-term, but delays to the deployment of an African security force have raised fears the conflict could spill over into neighboring nations.
The French government issued a statement that it would send 2,500 troops to support Malian government soldiers in the conflict against Islamist rebels. France has already deployed around 750 troops to Mali, and French carriers arrived in Bamako on Tuesday morning .
French president Francois Hollande hailed the latest overnight airstrikes on rebel targets as “achieving their goal,” but said that assembling an African force to reinforce French troops could take a “good week.”
“We will continue the deployment of forces on the ground and in the air,” Hollande added. Thus far, Amnesty International reported that six civilians had been killed by the French airstrikes.
On Tuesday Hollande vowed that France’s intervention in Mali would end as soon as the security and stability of Mali was provided for.
“We have one goal. To ensure that when we leave, when we end our intervention, Mali is safe, has legitimate authorities, an electoral process and there are no more terrorists threatening its territory,” Hollande told a news conference during a visit to the United Arab Emirates, Reuters reports.
In contrast to the French President, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said that French troops would be in Mali for “a matter of weeks.” During a visit to the Arab Emirates, Fabius stated he was confident that France would receive support from Gulf nations in the conflict.
West African defense chiefs will meet on Tuesday to approve the deployment of ground troops into Mali to tackle the Islamist rebel forces. No EU members will be allowed to attend the meeting because “they don’t want any French pressure,” a diplomat told Reuters.
IN what could be the first spillover from France’s intervention in Mali, Islamist militants attacked and occupied a natural gas complex partly operated by energy company BP in southern Algeria. Two foreigners were killed and dozens of others, including Americans, were taken hostage.
A militant group claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was in revenge for Algeria’s support of France’s operation against al-Qa’ida-linked Malian rebels groups far to the southeast. It said it was holding 41 foreigners, including seven Americans.
Algerian forces have surrounded the complex and the state news agency reported a bit more than 20 people were being held, including Americans, Britons, Norwegians, French and Japanese, citing the local authorities.
“Algeria will not respond to terrorist demands and rejects all negotiations,” Interior Minister Daho Ould Kablia said on television. He denied that the militants were from Mali or Libya, possibly suggesting they were from Algeria itself.
they warned them..and now its on..it is linked to the mali war..and it will end badly..more reason for other countries to become involved now..al qaeda the bad guys..but in some countries they are the good guys..backward ass world we live in..and right next to libya..this is where its spilled over from..and armed to the teeth..from the west..