Swift military action to help restore national unity in Mali was a demand from protesters from the north of the country. They gathered in the capital, Bamako and fear if there is no intervention then what they call, “the genocide” will begin.
They want the government and the international community to intervene and protect their families in the rebel-occupied northern region of the country.
Mohamed Ben Ashim is from Timbuktu: “We lost everything we had, all our belongings, we lost our culture, everything we had. Enough is enough. We’re asking for freedom for the north now,” he said.
Tuareg rebels and Islamist groups initially fought together to take over northern Mali in April after a coup. The two rebel groups have now fallen out causing further violence in the area.
In the town of Gao its reported residents say fighters from an Islamist militant group, Mujao, have planted mines in an attempt to foil an attack by Tuareg rebels.
France has said it was discussing a new resolution to curb unrest in the country but has stopped short of promising to intervene directly.