“In the beginning, they were only 500 insurgents. Now they are between 5,500 to 7,000 terrorists in northern Mali who were joined by lost youths, including young Sahrawis from the (Tindouf) camps,” said the Malian official in an interview with electronic site “AtlasInfo.”
M. Coulibaly expressed thanks to Morocco for its humanitarian and diplomatic support and for military cooperation, recalling that resolution 2085, authorizing the deployment of the African-led international support mission in Mali, was voted during the Moroccan chairmanship of the Security Council.
“Morocco has always supported and is still supporting Mali and its territorial integrity,” said Malian foreign minister Coulibaly, stressing that his country “counts on Morocco’s backing and cooperation to overcome the terrorist threat.”
“We count on the assistance and support of Morocco, which is sister country with which we have ancestral ties,” he added stressing that the Kingdom was the first country to send a humanitarian assistance to Mali.
Despite Malian problems, Morocco continues to receive Malian students, has doubled the number of scholarships granted to Malian students and is still training Malian officers in its military schools, he went on adding that Morocco has also announced at the donors conference in Addis Ababa a financial assistance to Mali.
He also praised the French intervention, stressing that the world stability and peace are at stake.
The Malian foreign minister further recalled that Morocco has, on more than one occasion, drawn the international community’s attention to this serious threat, but, he went on, “people did not heed this call. It wasn’t until our State faced a risk of total destruction that the international community grew aware of the seriousness of the danger.”