PHOTOS: Mali Readies For War

The ECOWAS Heads of State and Government have authorised the deployment of an African-led international force to flush out rebel groups from northern Mali in order to restore security in the country.

Mali

A man does an arms drill in the bush in the Youth Camp of Soufouroulaye, near Mopti. The militia Ganda Izo (Sons of Land) boasts 1300 men. They are being trained to handle weapons and to fight in order to reconquer cities in North Mali. Michaël Zumstein / Agence VU

Mali's Militiamen: A Country Split in Two Readies for War

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The endorsement is contained in a communiqué issued at the end of the extraordinary summit held in Abuja on Sunday.

The communiqué requested the Peace and Security Council of the AU to endorse the Concept of Operations adopted by the session, together with the Strategic concept for onward transmission to the UN Security Council.

It said that this should be done in line with the deadline of Nov.15 stipulated by the UN Resolution 2071.

The communiqué urged the UN Security Council to examine the concept with a view to authorise the deployment of the force in Mali in conformity with Chapter VII of the UN Charter.

It commended the efforts of Mali in using military as well as diplomatic efforts at restoring constitutional order in the country, stressing the need for ECOWAS to play a leadership role in the deployment of the force.

It said that such a role should cover the command and resource mobilisation in close cooperation with the AU and the UN.

“Summit reiterates its commitment to the commission to maintain the stand-by force in a high state of readiness for imminent deployment and urges member state to concretise their commitment to provide military and logistical contributions to the ECOWAS military efforts.

“Authority also reiterates its preoccupation with the flagrant violation of human rights and humanitarian laws in the occupied territory as well as the humanitarian consequences that may result from the planned deployment.

“Authority welcomes the fact that the humanitarian angle has been taken into account in the strategic concept and the operation planning for the deployment and appeals to humanitarian agencies and international community to continue to provide assistance to the affected region,” it said.

Michaël Zumstein / Agence VUMilitiamen enlisting with the Liberation Front of North Mali train in Sevare. Many of the volunteers were forced to flee their homes and villages in the North.Mali's Militiamen: A Country Split in Two Readies for War

Michaël Zumstein / Agence VUGanda Izo figheters welcome one of their leaders, 41-year-old Ibrahim Maïga, in Soufouroulaye, near Mopti.

Mali's Militiamen: A Country Split in Two Readies for War

Michaël Zumstein / Agence VUTwo Ganda Izo militiamen in Soufouroulaye.

MaliMali's Militiamen: A Country Split in Two Readies for War

Michaël Zumstein / Agence VUIn the town of Sevaré, Mopti Territory, militiamen of the Liberation Front of North Mali train.

Mali's Militiamen: A Country Split in Two Readies for War

Michaël Zumstein / Agence VUIn the town of Sevaré, in the Mopti Territory, the militiamen of the Liberation Front of North Mali, perform marching drills.

Mali's Militiamen: A Country Split in Two Readies for War

Michaël Zumstein / Agence VUMilitiamen in the town of Sevaré, Mopti Territory.

 

Mali's Militiamen: A Country Split in Two Readies for War

Michaël Zumstein / Agence VUGanda Izo fighters line up in Soufouroulaye.

Mali's Militiamen: A Country Split in Two Readies for War

Michaël Zumstein / Agence VUGanda Izo exercises at a camp in Soufouroulaye.

MaliMali's Militiamen: A Country Split in Two Readies for War

Michaël Zumstein / Agence VUIbrahim Maïga, 41 years old, head deputy of the militia Ganda Izo (Sons of Land), shows on a map how he escaped route from Timbuktu, the historic Saharan city that fell into Islamist hands earlier this year.

Read more: time.com

 

The militia Ganda Izo (Sons of Land) train near Mopti. Michaël Zumstein / Agence VU

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