Scores of Africans recruited by Mali Qaeda offshoot
[Daily Nation (Kenya)] A group of armed youths has just arrived in Gao from Burkina Faso
...The country in west Africa that they put where Upper Volta used to be. Its capital is Oogadooga, or something like that. Its president is currently Blaise Compaoré, who took office in 1987 and may be in the process of being chased out now...
, joining hundreds of other young African recruits who have come to sign up with radical Islamists controlling the northern Mali town.
Dressed in khaki robes, the new batch of youths will join others from Senegal
... a nation of about 14 million on the west coast of Africa bordering Mauretania to the north, Mali to the east, and a pair of Guineas to the south, one of them Bissau. It is 90 percent Mohammedan and has more than 80 political parties. Its primary purpose seems to be absorbing refugees...
and Ivory Coast milling about in the scorching heat in the courtyard of a building the jihadists have made the headquarters of their Islamic-law-enforcing police.
"We are many Africans, come from all over to join the mujahideen in Gao," says an Ivorian who says he has now taken a new name, Ahmed El Guedir.
In less than two days, over 200 Africans have been conscripted by the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO), the group told AFP on an exclusive trip under their protection to a region which has been a no-go area for western news organizations since being seized by gangs in late March.
On average, the recruits are about 16 years old. Some came out of a sense of conviction, some were paid, according to corroborating sources.
"They were promised the sun, moon and stars," said one of these sources on condition of anonymity.
The youths have been separated into two training camps where they will "undergo military and religious training", says the head of the Islamic police, who identifies himself only as Alioune.
"There are more than 200 youths now, we are awaiting many more," he adds.
Posted by: Fred