Cairo, 8 Rabiul Awwal 1434/ 20 January 2013 (MINA) – Demonstrators in Algeria and Egypt have taken to the streets in protest against France’s military intervention in the West African country of Mali.
In Algiers, protesters held placards bearing slogans against the French government. Security forces prevented the demonstrators from nearing the French embassy.
The protesters also slammed their country for allowing France to use its airspace to bomb northern Mali, according Press TV reports monitored by Mi’raj News Agency (MINA), Sunday morning.
Egyptian protesters gathered in front of the French embassy in Cairo, calling on Egypt to withdraw its ambassador to Paris.
Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi also voiced opposition to the intervention in the African nation, saying that the situation must be dealt with “wisely.”
On January 11, France intervened in Mali by launching aerial attack under the pretext of halting the advance of militants in the African country.
Intense fighting has been going on between French forces and the opposition in the central town of Diabaly, which was seized by militants.
France’s Defense Ministry said on Thursday that a total of 1,400 French troopers were deployed in Mali, 600 more than the figure given on Wednesday.
The ministry added that the number of troops would increase to 2,500 as France expands its military campaign against the militants, who have seized much of the African nation.
Chaos broke out in Mali after President Amadou Toumani Toure was toppled in a military coup on March 22, 2012. The coup leaders said they mounted the coup in response to the government’s inability to contain the Tuareg rebellion in the north of the country, which had been going on for two months.
According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, a total of 147,000 Malian refugees had arrived in neighboring countries since crisis started in the African country a year ago. (T/R-007/R-006).
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)