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By Godfrey Olukya 8-11-2012

Islamist groups controlling northern Mali are preparing themselves for war after learning that West African army chiefs have adopted a
military plan to expel them.

Ever since the military coup in Mali,on March 22nd 2012, in which president Amadou Toumani Toure was overthrown there occurred a power
vacuum especially in the north. The Islamist groups took advantage of the vacuum to impose themselves as the leaders.

The occupation of northern Mali, by groups linked to Al-Qaeda has triggered fears in the region and among Western powers that the area
could become a base for international terrorists.

Although one of the Islamist groups in north Mali, Ansar Dine has requested for negotiations, the west African army chiefs believe that
it is only the military option which is appropriate.

The west African army chiefs made the resolution at a meeting last Tusday during their meeting in Bamako city. Their decision has to be
studied by regional heads of state for approval before being presented to the UN Security Council on November 26,2012.

Malian army chief Ibrahim Dembele said, ‘It was a successful meeting at which we all agreed on military option.  Friendly troops will come here
to help Mali reconquer the north.’

Following the decision by army chiefs, the Islamist groups have started building trenches and assembling at positions in key areas in preparation for war with joint west African force.

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