Is Qatar fuelling the crisis in north Mali?
A girl looks on January 21, 2013 in Diabaly at Islamists pickup trucks destroyed during aerial strikes. French and Malian troops today recaptured the Malian towns of Diabaly and Douentza from Islamist fighters, France's defence minister said.French and Malian troops earlier today entered Diabaly, which has been the theatre of air strikes and fighting since being seized by Islamists a week ago, an AFP journalist witnessed.AFP / PHOTO / ISSOUF SANOGOSince Islamist groups exploited a military coup in the Malian capital of Bamako in early 2012 to take control of the entire north of the country, accusations of Qatari involvement in a crisis that has seen France deploy troops have been growing.
Last week two French politicians explicitly accused Qatar of giving material support to separatists and Islamists in north Mali, adding fuel to speculation that the Emirate is playing a behind-the-scenes role in spreading Islamic fundamentalism in Africa.
French far-right leader Marine Le Pen and Communist Party Senator Michelle Demessine both said that that Qatar had questions to answer.
“If Qatar is objecting to France’s engagement in Mali it’s because intervention risks destroying Doha’s most fundamentalist allies,” Le Pen said in a statement on her party website, in response to a call by Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani for dialogue with the Islamists.
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