Mali Soldiers Demand Better Arms to Fight Rebels

Posted March 21st, 2012 at 11:20 am (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

Witnesses report unrest at an army camp near Mali's capital, where soldiers are demanding better weapons to fight Tuareg rebels.

Soldiers at the Kati military camp outside the capital, Bamako, began firing into the air Wednesday, after a meeting with Mali's defense minister went badly.

VOA's French to Africa Service reports that two soldiers were wounded during the protest.

The protesting soldiers complained that they lack proper weapons to battle the rebels, who have seized several towns in Mali's remote northern desert region. Wives and mothers of the soldiers held a protest in Bamako on the same issue last month.

Tuareg nomads have launched periodic uprisings for greater autonomy in both Mali and Niger.

The latest rebellion began in January, after many Tuareg fighters returned from Libya, where they assisted ousted Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.