Five soldiers killed in an ambush, the Malian army representatives said. According to the statement the soldiers were travelling between the towns of Hombori and Boni, about 100 km north of the Burkina Faso border, when they fell into an ambush. Their vehicle was also destroyed. Reinforcements have been immediately dispatched. (Image above: Hombori sunset).
It came days after gunmen killed 24 soldiers in an attack on an army unit in neighboring Burkina Faso.
Terrorist attacks targeting local security forces in the Sahel region have increased lately.
Since 2012, Islamists linked to al Qaeda have taken control of northern Mali, exploiting the downfall of Libyan state, and following Tuareg separatist uprising. The fragility of the Sahel region, is cause for international concern.
Despite French intervention and the deployment of joint forces from five Sahel countries, terrorist groups still control a large part of this region and are increasingly influential in Burkina Faso and Niger.
Hundred civilians were killed by armed groups in the village of Sobane in central Mali. On the same day, some 20 people were killed during an attack in the commune of Arbinda, in northern Burkina Faso.s
“We offer our condolences to the families of the victims, as well as to the people and governments of Mali and Burkina Faso. These abuses against populations may constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity. Investigations must be conducted immediately and the perpetrators brought to justice as soon as possible” reads the statement of the spokesperson of the European External Action Service.
“In the face of this rise in violence against civilians, it is urgent that the Malian and Burkinabe authorities redouble their efforts to ensure the protection of the population and engage in the implementation of processes of dialogue and reconciliation with the population. all communities. A process of disarmament and the dismantling of all the militias and self-defense groups operating in these areas must also be urgently undertaken.”
The European Union will continue to support Mali and Burkina Faso and stand alongside the entire Sahel region to contribute to peace, security and the satisfaction of people’s needs”.
Image above: Sahel village (illustration)
Image below: Sabane-Kou village on map.
More than 17 soldiers in Niger were killed and 11 went missing in an ambush close to Mali border, a government spokesman said.
The offensive was launched near the town of Tongo Tongo, where fighters from an Islamic State affiliate previously killed four U.S. special forces and four Nigerien soldiers.
“…The governments of Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso and Chad – member states of the G5 Sahel, a regional organization for security cooperation created in 2014 – are having great difficulty in facing the progressive spread of jihadist violence and the strengthening of criminal trafficking networks”, Ph.D Camillo Casola writes.
G5 Sahel countries – Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger– are expected to have a meeting in Brussels next week to enhance security and military cooperation with the EU amid intensified attacks of Islamic terrorists.
Four hostages have been rescued by the military in Burkina Faso, the Ministry of foreign affairs of France informed in a communique.
Two French, one American woman and one South Korean woman.
It is with profound sadness that the government informed about the death of two French soldiers were slain during the operation. Four kidnappers were also neutralized.
The French hostages had been kidnapped in neighboring Benin on 1 May.
The two soldiers who were killed during the rescue were named as Cédric de Pierrepont and Alain Bertoncello, described by officials as belonging to a special operations unit.
The French military posted photos of the soldiers on social media.
Burkina Faso has suffered more than 230 attacks in just over three years. In April more than 60 people died in ethnic clashes fueled by Islamic radicals attempting to gain control over Sahel.
A corpse of the guide for two French tourists who went missing on safari in Pendjari parc in Benin last week has been found in a burnt car, a local official and a regional security source said.
The fate of two French tourists, who failed to return to the lodge in the Pendjari National Park in northern Benin, is unknown, the sources said.
French mass media reported that they were believed to be kidnapped, citing unnamed regional sources.
France’s foreign affairs ministry could not confirm the information so far, though it has acknowledged that two nationals and their guide had been missing since May, 1. However they underlined they have advised against travelling to the area.
The relevant authorities in Benin and neighbouring Burkina Faso, where the sources say the car was found, declined to comment.
In March 2009 the park was nominated as a tentative site for UNESCO’s World Heritage Site program, and in July 2017 it was officially inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as part of a transnational extension of the W-Arly-Pendjari Complex. Stretching across three countries, W-Arly-Pendjari Complex is the largest and most important continuum of terrestrial, semi-aquatic and aquatic ecosystems in the West African savanna belt.
Today, in the margins of the European Development Days, Commissioner Mimica signed new support for Burkina Faso, together with President Kaboré.
“Today I have signed in the presence of the President Kaboré of Burkina Faso aid package of 50 million euro to support the efforts in security and development of the North of the country” – Neven Mimica, the European Commissioner said.
This week Burkina Faso was celebrated as a country abandoning capital penalty.
Burkina Faso security forces neutralised three suspected terrorists and arrested one more on Tuesday (22/05/2017) morning in an operation on the outskirts of the capital Ouagadougou, state television reported.
One policeman was killed in the fighting in the Rayongo neighborhood, while five people, including one civilian, were injured, the report said.
Burkinian media reports the seizure of weapons, including explosives, while raiding the house of the presumed terrorist group.