Mali is enlisting young people to help reclaim the north from armed Islamist occupiers, AFP reported on Friday (December 7th).
"In total, we will recruit 2,000 young people: youths who have expressed a desire to defend the homeland," Malian Defence Ministry official Nouhoum Togo said.
According to a Malian military source, some 4,000 applications have been submitted since the recruitment drive began on December 1st. The campaign ends on December 10th.
Several private militias from the Gao region have also emerged since the beginning of the crisis. Some of these pro-government militias have reportedly been training for several months in Mopti (600 km north of Bamako).