By Jane Nambi
The Mali rebels, have made an advance to the country’s capital city, Bamako after seizing a key town, Konna which lies just about 600 km (375 miles) northeast of the regional capital of Mopti.
The rebels, whose intention is to control the country and impose the Islamic Shariya law are linked to the Al-Qaeda. The interim president of Mali, Dioncounda Traore appealed to France to send some military help just hours after the rebels seized Konna as the UN Security Council held an emergency meeting to discuss the situation.
France’s UN Ambassador Gerard Araud confirmed on Thursday that President Traore had written to French President, Francois Hollande and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon appealing for military assistance to fight combat rapidly advancing rebel forces but would outline its position on the request on Friday.
“We took the barracks and we control all of the town of Konna,” MUJWA rebel group spokesman Oumar Ould Hamaha said. “The soldiers fled, abandoning their heavy weapons and armored vehicles.” With this conquest, the Islamist guerrillas are now 20 kilometers (12.5 miles) from the city.
The UN Security Council met in New York at the request of France on Thursday amid growing international alarm over the latest advance.