Tag Archives: Mali

Five Mali soldiers killed in jihad

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.

Mali: Barkhane operation continues

The French General Staff informed about an operation carried out from 25 July to 3 August 2019  in Mali by Barkhane  and the Malian Armed Forces, underlining “the ability and determination of the Malian soldiers to fight alongside Barkhane“.

The 4,500 French troops deployed in former French colonies for ‘Operation Barkhane’ face huge logistical challenges in hostile terrain. The major difficulty is cooperation with a civilian population spread haphazardly across vast and remote spaces, often either sympathetic to the Islamists or terrified of informing about them.

In Gossi, a plagued by Islamic State fighters next to the borders with Burkina Faso and Niger, the town’s local government Councillor had fled after being threatened and found refuge in the Malian base, according to the French Commander.

Operation Barkhane was launched in the wake of Operation Serval, a French offensive that pushed back Tuareg rebels and allied Islamists from northern Mali’s vast desert in 2013.

While Serval had brought moderate stability to northern Mali, unrest had spread to the country’s more populated center, with attacks also reaching neighboring Burkina Faso, Niger and even Ivory Coast.

With no end date announced at its launch, the follow-up operation would try to stabilise countries in the region by assisting their governments in a West African anti-terrorism force. Five years on, no end is in sight.

“We have a dogged adversary, who is tough, drawing from a breeding ground that is favourable to him because the population is isolated,” Colonel Nicolas James, Commander of Desert Tactical Croup Belleface.

Today the radical Islam is actively exploiting modern means of communications, that is why patrol has to search not only for weapons, but also for propaganda in smartphones. When conducting operations, they have to screen the content of smartphones of locals to detect incriminating  jihad propaganda.

On a rare trip with the French troops into central Mali, Reuters journalists were searching for answers why a five-year-old mission, initially planned as a short-term operation to hand over to local forces, may have many more years left to run.

Back in 2018 the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces, General François Lecointre said: “I do not think that it is possible to solve the problem in Mali in less than ten to fifteen years, if we can at all. The evolution of the situation in Mali is not satisfactory and we will not leave tomorrow, leaving it in stagnation“.

The Barkhane operation relays on €600 millions a year funding.

In spite of being ranked as the third largest in Africa resource of gold, Mali remains of the poorest countries in the world, dependent on international aid. Main gold mines, Sadiola and Morila still constitute the model, which is named “gold-dependent economy”, providing the state with more than a half of export revenue. The average wage in Mali is around a euro per day, and more than half of the population currently lives below poverty line.

 

Mali governor sacked over security failure

Mali’s council of ministers has sacked  Sidy Alassane Toure. the governor of Mopti region, after armed group killed dozens of people in the latest eruption of ethnic violence, it informed in a statement on Sobane Da village massacre. (Image: illustration Mopti view).

Unindentified attackers believed to belong to the Fulani ethnic group raided a  Dogon village near town Bankass, killing 35 people, according to the government, although a local authority maintains the real figure is 95 deaths. Neither has produced evidence for these tolls.

The government also declared three days of national mourning in the official annoucement.

Drawing lessons from this tragedy, the council of ministers dismissed the Mopti region’s governor,” the council announced via an issued statement.  Sidy Alassane Toure was the latest government official to lose his job as a result of authorities’ failure to contain spiraling ethnic violence around Mopti.

Malians have grown increasingly critical of failures of Keita‘s government to protect them from both ethnic violence and armed radical groups affiliated to al-Qaeda and the ISIS terrorists.

Sahel: EU condolences to victims of terrorism

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.

Sobane

Niger military slain in ambush

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.

EU expresses condolences to victims of Mali attack

The massacre of more than 130 people, including women and children, and the destruction of the village of Ogossagou this Saturday morning by armed men dressed as traditional hunters raises the greatest indignation of the European Union. Immediate measures to ensure the security and protection of populations in central Mali, and in particular Fulani villages, are needed. This includes the disarmament and dismantling of all militias in the region” says the text of the declaration of the European External Actions Service (EEAS) spokesperson. (Image above: illustration)

“The EU extends its condolences to the families of the victims of this attack and to the people of Mali who deserve to live in peace. It urges the authorities to conduct a full investigation of these abuses and to prosecute the perpetrators, otherwise insecurity will continue, the rule of law will recede and tensions between communities will continue to pose extremely serious risks to the stability of the country. country.”

“The European Union and the international community stand with Mali to support the government’s efforts for security, stability and to ensure the redeployment of the state and basic services to the people in the center of the country.”

Terrorist attack in Mali left 16 dead

Gunmen attacked and briefly seized a Malian army base overnight, killing at least 16 military and destroying five vehicles in central Mopti region, said two local officials in the area where the attack occurred. Army spokesman Colonel Diarran Kone  confirmed the attack took place but declined further details.

The base is in the village of Dioura, the mayor of the nearest town Kareri, Youssouf Coulibaly, confirmed, that the Central Mali has in the past few years been overrun by Islamic radicals with links to Al Qaeda.

I’m currently inside the base and there were many deaths here. We’ve counted 16 so far,” Mr. Coulibaly said. (Below interactive map of fatalities and violent episodes in Mali since August 2014).

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