'Your papers, please' must never be heard in America
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
Mali's armed forces are the Army, Air Force, Gendarmerie, Republican Guard, National Guard, and National Police (Sûreté Nationale). They number some 7,000 and are under the control of the Minister of Armed Forces and Veterans. The IISS Military Balance 2009 lists an Army of 7,350, Air Force of 400, and Navy of 50. Military expenditures total about 13% of the national budget. - Source: Wikipedia
Burned-out vehicles and scattered bullets dotted the streets of a central Malian town after radical Islamists retreated following days of French airstrikes, according to video obtained Sunday.
Mali's military claimed Friday that it has held control of a key town where Islamic extremists had battled forces for a week, though aid groups warned they were unable to reach the area to provide humanitarian assistance.
France launched airstrikes Friday to help the government of Mali defeat al Qaeda-linked militants who captured more ground this week, dramatically raising the stakes in the battle for this vast desert nation.
Soldiers arrested Mali's prime minister and ordered him to resign, showing that the military is still the real power in the capital of this large West African country even though soldiers made a show of returning control back to civilian leaders several months after launching a coup in March.
Tuareg rebels said Sunday they had taken control of an important military base in the north of Mali after having surrounded the location for weeks.