The French have acknowledged that the Malian army is not up to scratch. Last week, French Foreign Ministry spokesman Philippe Lalliot pointed to the need for training for Mali's army, saying "all the Malian units are certainly not in a fighting state."
Yet the Malian army now has the responsibility of holding the centers that have been retaken by the French. In Diabaly, after securing the town, the French military took off just as quickly as they arrived, leaving only the Malians late Monday in a column of at least seven armored vehicles along with journalists.
The Malians are again alone — and in charge of Diabaly. Some residents, though, wonder how safe they, in fact, are.
Mohamed Sanogo said: "I still don't understand the ease with which the Islamists were able to take my city."
Associated Press writer Andrew Meldrum contributed to this report from Johannesburg.
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