Jihad causes poverty. “Suspected Islamists block Red Cross convoy in Mali,” from Agence France-Presse, March 14:
Suspected Islamists turned back an International Committee of the Red Cross convoy, tearing down its flag, as it tried to enter Tessalit in northeast Mali, a source said Wednesday.
Tessalit was seized on Sunday by Tuareg rebels following weeks of fighting with the Malian army which says it operated a strategic retreat.
“Our team, which was heading Tuesday for Tessalit, was prevented from entering by armed Islamists. The team returned to Gao,” the source close to the ICRC told AFP.
“Our goal was to bring help to civilians,” said the source, who did not wish to be named.
An armed Islamist group, Ancar Dine, led by a powerful Tuareg rebel fighting for autonomy in northern Mali, has called for the national imposition of Sharia law in a video seen Tuesday by AFP.
“It is an obligation for us to fight for the application of Sharia (Islamic law) in Mali,” said Cheikh Ag Aoussa, a spokesman of Ancar Dine, which means ‘Defenders of Islam’ in Arabic.