The French army says it has secured Markala in Mali. The town is located between the area controlled by Islamist insurgents to the north and the country’s
capital Bamako to the south.
Colonel Frédéric of Special Forces told Euronews:
“The most important mission for us was to secure this town, which is strategically important. From here we can stop the rebels getting further south along the river Niger and towards Bamako. This has been done.”
“The rebels have understood that we are here and that we are solidly installed. This is the most important thing for us,” he added.
Cutting off the rebels’ potential gateway to the capital comes as the first troops from a large West African deployment have arrived in Mali to support efforts to fight the rebellion.
Euronews correspondent François Chignac reports from Mali:
“There are several vehicles with french camouflage like these, further along the river Niger. We are in Markala about hundred kilometres north of Bamako. Here, the French army has managed to prevent the rebels’ access to the capital Mali. Now, the next step is to ensure Diabaly and Konna are secure.”