Home > Radical Islam, Wars and Rumors of War > Mali Islamist Rebels Join Forces, Plan To Create Islamic State

Mali Islamist Rebels Join Forces, Plan To Create Islamic State


By Anne Look, Voice of America – “BAMAKO – Tuareg rebels and Islamist militants have joined forces in northern Mali and say they will create an independent Islamist state. The groups took advantage of a military coup in Bamako to seize control of the territory in early April. Resistance is growing in the north to the efforts to introduce Islamic law.

In the northern Malian town of Gao, court is in session.

Commissioner Abdoulaye Maiga begins by reading from the Quran in the roadside courtyard outside the former police station.

Once an area businessman, Maiga is a member of the militant Islamist sect Ansar Dine that residents say dominates the town.

This morning, Maiga hears the case of a man accused of letting his animals graze in his neighbors’ fields. The accused confesses, says he has settled previous infractions by bribing authorities. This time, he promises to compensate his neighbors for damages to their crops. The deal is accepted.

The commissioner hears other cases, including those of two men, one accused of adultery and the other of drunkenness. No witnesses were called. A VOA reporter watched as the sentences, 80 lashes each, were carried out on the spot.

Gao is one of three northern strongholds that fell to Tuareg separatists and Islamist militants during the chaos that followed a March 22 military coup in Bamako.

The two groups joined forces in late May and say they will create an independent Islamic state in what is now nearly two-thirds of Mali’s national territory. Ansar Dine is already imposing its brand of Islamic law in the north.” Read more.

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