Sep. 23, 2013 – Defense News (AFP)
BAMAKO — Mali’s new president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita vowed Sunday to go to all lengths to better equip the national army, in a bid to prevent a repeat of the 2012 mutiny over the lack of resources to fight rebels in the north.
Faced with an intensifying rebellion from Tuaregs and allied Islamists, scores of Malian soldiers mutinied and launched a coup in March last year, angry at the low level of support they were getting from the state.
The ensuing chaos in the capital gave the rebels the opportunity to snatch the vast desert north where they imposed a brutal form of sharia law, before military action launched by Paris in January ousted them.
Keita, who took office this month, said Sunday that it is an “absolute priority” for him to give the army what it needs to do its work, adding that “nothing would be too much” to meet that pledge.
To do so, “sacrifices ... will be made”, he said, adding however that “it is the job of the nation, it is my mission, and I will assume it.”
Mali needs a “better equipped army, an army that meets needs, an army that is trained to carry out its missions,” he told public television channel ORTM.