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Africa North
French, Malian troops move against rebel positions
[MAGHAREBIA] The war against al-Qaeda and allied Islamist groups in Mali entered its seventh day on Thursday (January 17th) as French and Malian troops laid siege to rebel positions.

The intensive air attacks gave way to a ground operation on Wednesday as French troops backed by their Malian counterparts battled Islamist forces of Evil occupying the towns of Diabaly and Konna.

Meanwhile the chiefs of staff from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) approved an expedited plan on Wednesday to deploy 2,000 soldiers within ten days.

"All steps to liberate northern Mali have been agreed upon," Malian army Major Abdoulaye Diakite said. However,
a lie repeated often enough remains a lie...
he did not disclose details of the plan.

The first troops from Nigeria were due to begin arriving in Mali on Thursday. The UN-backed intervention force will also include soldiers from Niger, Burkina Faso
...The country in west Africa that they put where Upper Volta used to be. Its capital is Oogadooga, or something like that. Its president is currently Blaise Compaoré, who took office in 1987 and may be in the process of being chased out now...
, Togo, Senegal
... a nation of about 14 million on the west coast of Africa bordering Mauretania to the north, Mali to the east, and a pair of Guineas to the south, one of them Bissau. It is 90 percent Mohammedan and has more than 80 political parties. Its primary purpose seems to be absorbing refugees...
, Guinea and Ghana.

Chad, which is not a member of ECOWAS, also promised to send 2,000 troops, AFP reported. The first 200 troops of the Chadian contingent left for Mali on Thursday.

man does not live by words alone, despite the fact that sometimes he has to eat them...
the nature of preparations and the need to co-ordinate and specify areas where the African forces would be deployed may prevent them from completing their final deployment before next week, journalist Baba Ahmed told Magharebia.

As part of the international efforts to combat the terrorist assault, the German government said Wednesday it would send two military cargo planes to transport ECOWAS troops to Mali. The announcement was made after a meeting between Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel
...current chancellor of Germany. She was educated in East Germany when is was still run by commies, but in 1989 got involved with the growing democracy movement when the Berlin Wall fell. Merkel is sometimes referred to by Germans as Mom...
and ECOWAS chairman, Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara.
...the current president-for-life of Ivory Coast. He actually beat his predecessor in an election before having to eject him from the presidential palazzo....
In a presser held with the Ivorian president, Merkel said that providing this assistance was part of efforts to counter terrorism, which doesn't threaten Africa alone, but Germany and Europe as well.

The Ivorian president said that ECOWAS would play a pivotal role in the on-going war on terror and is rushing to make field deployments in support of the Malian army, noting that this would require European support.

...back at the alley, Slats Chumbaloni was staring into a hole that was just .45 inch in diameter and was less than three feet from his face ...
French President François Hollande said Wednesday evening before the French parliament that the military intervention in Mali was "necessary and legitimate and was under an international umbrella".
Posted by:Fred