Islamists group who have take over the deserted North of Mali and imposing the Sharia in the region are becoming more and more brutal.
The Islamist are violating the strict Muslim law and sending away residents of the area. A student called Oumar told AFP after arriving in the capital Bamako on Wednesday on a bus from the north-eastern town of Gao that these Islamic rebels kill and rape. He also point out that the rebels are becoming barbaric. He reveals that they forced her sister into marriage, and then a month later her husband divorced her. According to him the barbarians get married to have a good time and when they’re done, they throw the woman away. “How can a man of God have six wives?” he asked, “it is two times more than what the koran allows”. He also mentions that the women who ran away from forced marriages with Islamist fighters said the men do not wear condoms. This situation worries Oumar, because they were likely to spread Aids through the region.
Since March 22, Mali has move into disorder that overthrew the government of President Amadou Toumani Toure. A series of Islamist groups have been raised including al-Qaeda’s North African branch capitalized on the power emptiness to seize the country’s vast desert north, an area larger than France. Residents and rights groups say that for more than six months, the Islamists have been imposing sharia on areas under their control, arresting unveiled women, stoning an unmarried couple to death, publicly flogging smokers and amputating suspected thieves’ limbs. Sources says, the Islamists who claim to be in favour of sharia drink and smoke while some of them even take drugs.
Buses have stopped serving Timbuktu, an ancient city renowned as a centre of Islamic learning where the Islamists have been destroying the tombs of Muslim saints, calling the Unesco World Heritage sites blasphemous. “The Islamists don’t respect anyone in Timbuktu,” said Thierno. On Tuesday he said they pretend to be for sharia. They arrested more than 20 people accused of theft or smoking who are going to be whipped in public. But in reality, the Islamists are doing that to make people afraid. Thierno said the Islamists were taking advantage of their new found power to make business deals and get rich. But he added that he did not think it would be hard to evict them. “They’re armed, and it’s true they’re making people afraid”.
West African nations are presently preparing an internationally backed military intervention to reclaim the region. A high-level international meeting will be held on Friday in Bamako with African Union boss Nkosazana Dlamini- Zuma, interim Malian president Dioncounda Traore and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s special envoy for the region, Romano Prodi. The meeting was called to hammer out an agreement between top officials and work out details on the make-up of the intervention force sponsored by the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas)