France has in an unprecedented move called for a total media blackout in what many say is an attempt to save her image from damages caused upon her former colony Mali.
The ban on the media comes as the international Federation for Human rights issue a damning report accusing both the French and Malian troops of gross human rights violation.
In a meeting called to sensitize local journalists about the war in the north, Malian army introduced what they call the rule of engagement for any journalist wishing to cover the war in the north.
Analysts in the Malian capital Bamako say the media blackout could be linked to reports of grave human rights violation by the ground troops as echoed by the International Federation for Human Rights.
According to the federation, some people have been killed only for failure to carry valid identification documents, an accusation Malian authorities have denied.
According to the Malian military most of the journalists have to be trained about what happens in the battle field before they can access the areas currently being controlled by the anti government fighters.
The International Federation for Human Rights says over twenty people have so far been executed in the northern town of Sevare with more reports of execution reported in the towns of Niono and Mopti.
Meanwhile Burkinafaso has also joined in the conflict, deploying a contingent of one hundred and sixty soldiers in the northern town of Markala.