The government of Mali does not intend to leave religious affairs solely to Islamist militant groups; the Islamic Supreme Council publicly gave their blessing and support to France’s military activities in the country.
To prevent any religious backlash, the council has cast its judgment that the war is permissible.
Head of the council, Sheikh Mohammed Diko, said France’s operation in the country is not against Islam. Furthermore Diko heavily criticized the Arab and the Islamic world’s neglect of Mali.
“People [Islamists] came from different countries to control our country. They claim that they apply Sharia, then why don’t they apply Sharia in their home countries,” he stated.
As preparations to enter a new stage in this war begin, journalists complain that Mali’s army is restricting their movement.
Modibo Trawori, a spokesman for Mali’s army, said his force wants to guarantee the safety of journalists and doesn’t intend to control the flow of information.
The French military intervention, as well as military aid from African countries who have sent thousands of additional soldiers, has reignited Malian efforts to liberate the northern part of the country that is currently occupied by radical Islamist militants.
Ministerial convoys from Western African countries have visited their deployed forces in areas where clashes occurred between militants and foreign forces.
The French operation is code-named Serval, after the African wild cat commonly found in Mali.