AFRICA/MALI - The army announces the reconquest of Konna: the first African soldiers are arriving

Friday, 18 January 2013

Bamako (Agenzia Fides) - The Malian army announced today, January 18, to have taken full control of Konna, the city in the center of Mali, whose capture by the jihadist rebels provoked the intervention of the French military last week. As Fr. Edmond Dembele, Secretary General of the Episcopal Conference of Mali explains to Fides Agency, "the Malian and French troops entered Konna yesterday, but the army was not able to register until today the fact of having taken control of the whole city, because the presence of pockets of resistance and mines were feared. Therefore security measures to avoid unpleasant surprises were then taken, and today it seems that the city is in full control of the regular military forces."
In the west of the Country, the operations of the French army to regain Diabali continue, fallen under the control of the jihadists. In these hours also the first militaries of the Mission Support to Mali (MISMA) have arrived, the force sent by the Community of West African States (ECOWAS). We are talking about 250 Nigerian and Togolese military. MISMA should come to understand that 3,000 soldiers will be responsible for supporting the Malian forces to recapture the north.
"Despite the fighting in the capital, Bamako, people live in peace, even though all continue to follow the news that come from the battlefield. Traffic is normal and public services operate regularly, police and gendarmerie, however, have increased the vigilance and security measures," concluded Don Dembele. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 18/01/2013)