Press Release No 3
The staff of the MNLA hereby give notice that as of today, the military operations to contain the invasion of Azawad by the Malian army, and stop the abuses, torture and confiscation of goods that have been inflicted on the population, has resulted in the following toll:
- 3 officers and several soldiers from the Malian army reinforcements have deserted in order to join MNLA, with 30 military vehicles
- Following these desertions, the Malian army cut the throats of three of their soldiers with Azawad origins.
- During the fighting, the Malian army suffered two dead and thirteen wounded.
- Two Malian army planes have been destroyed
The staff of the MNLA regret four wounded from its own ranks and is in control of the town of Menaka, contrary to what is claimed by the Malian regime.
On Friday January 21t, MNLA intercepted a Malian army convoy that was bringing reinforcements to the garrison of Aguelhok (north of Kidal). Only two vehicles managed to escape south towards Kidal, and the rest of the convoy was destroyed. We would like to add that the Malian reinforcement was carry a large arsenal of weapons, and it was dispatched following the capture of the Aguelhok barracks by MNLA fighers.
- 50 dead on the Malian side
- 25 Malian army soldiers taken prisoner
- 26 vehicles captured
- 40 vehicles destroyed
- 1 water truck
- 1 armoured vehicle
MNLA regrets that two of its own fighters were wounded.
- The MNLA fighters are currently encircling the military camp of Tessalit and are waiting for foreign military trainers to be evacuated from those premises.
- MNLA regrets that two of its own fighters are wounded, and a vehicle was lost after an accident.
MNLA would also like to announce that:
Officers are deserting the Malian army to join the ranks of MNLA, and they include:
- Commandant Issouf Ag Assamata, CO of the garrison of Ber (Timbuktu Region), deserted with his troops to join MNLA.
- Colonel Intala Ag Assayed, an officer stationed in Sevaré (Mopti Region).
TO THE ATTENTION OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY AND THE MALIAN MILITARY:
The MNLA would like to inform the international community that its troops are determined to continue its operations until Mali recognizes the right to auto-determination of the Azawad people. Each Malian soldier who hands over his weapons will be able to go home safe and sound. Furthermore, we would like everyone to know that all prisoners of war held by MNLA are protected and treated in accordance with the Geneva convention 1949.
The communications commission
Bakay Ag Hamed Ahmed