Tag Archives: Mali

13 French military perish in Mali

During counter-terrorist operation in Mali thirteen French soldiers have been killed in a helicopter collision, the French president’s office announced.

French President Emmanuel Macron expressed “deep sadness” over the biggest single loss of life for the French military since the 1980s.

An investigation has begun into how the two helicopters crashed into each other.
It happened around 19:40 local time (19:40 GMT) on November 25 near the borders of Burkina Faso and Niger where the aircraft were reinforcing ground troops who were pursuing djihadists, the French military explained.

Thousands of French troops have been deployed in Mali in anti-terrorist operaiton Barkhane in Mali.

French solider killed in Mali

French soldier perished in Mali after his armoured vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb, France’s presidency said in a statement.

Corporal Ronan Pointeau died near Menaka in eastern Mali following “the detonation of an improvised explosive device as his armoured vehicle drove by,” the statement said.

President Emmanuel Macron paid tribute to Pointeau’s “sacrifice” and said his thoughts were with the soldier’s colleagues and “his Sahelian brothers in arms, who are paying a heavy price in the fight against terrorism.”

The Sahel region became a battlefield between jihadists and governmental forces backed by troops from France and UN peacekeepers.

Pointeau’s death follows an attack on November 1 in the same region that left 49 Malian soldiers dead (according to the other reports 53 military and one civilian).

The offensive was claimed by the Islamic state group via their news site Amaq.

Mali military death toll risen

Daesh fighters in Mali have killed dozens of soldiers in one of the deadliest offensives against the governmental forces in recent memory. The the sources report two figures: 49 and 53 men perished in the attack, and one civilian.

It is possible that the toll will be even higher, taken into consideration the wounded, who have injuries ‘incompatible with life’. One civilian has become a collateral victim in the attack on an isolated military base the government said.

The authorities first reported the attack in Indelimane, in Menaka region, on November 1, but the initial death toll was lower.

“Heavily armed unidentified men attacked around noon. The attack started with shellfire … Then they retreated toward Niger,” the government spokesperson Yaya Sangare said.

Spokesperson also explains the death toll was not final because the bodies were still being identified, and that the army has launched a combing operation on the ground with support from international forces, including French troops and UN peacekeepers.

The Islamic State (IS) group said via their site Amaq news claimed being behind the attack.

Mali has been tormented by radical Islamistes since 2012, when the militants took over the north. With the assistance of French military, Mali’s army has recovered the territories.

However, the djihâd groups there did not abandon the idea to establish Caliphate, and they continued to fight against the governmental forces.

In a separate incident on November 2, a French soldier was killed in Liptako in the same area. 

https://twitter.com/natashafatah/status/1190731508799168512?s=21

Brigadier Ronan Pointeau died after his armoured vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb, the French government said in a statement. Brigadier is the equivalent of corporal.

It was earlier reported that 54 soldiers had died in the attack on the military post, based on a statement by Mali government spokesperson, Yaya Sangare.

IS claims Burkina Faso deadly attack

The Islamic State affiliated group has claimed responsibility for a deadly attack on Burkinabé  military leaving 24 dead. FRANCE 24 TV Channel expert Wassim Nasr says the claim is credible and that the attack shows how IS group has expanded its reach in northern Burkina Faso. (Image: illustration).

The August 20 attack on a military post in the north-eastern village of Koutougou killed 24 soldiers. By claiming responsibility for this attack, IS group has demonstrated its capacity to strike in areas where al Qaeda tends to be active.

Burkina Faso’s military said 24 soldiers were killed and seven others injured on August 19 in a “major attack by armed terrorist groups” in the Koutougou department of Soum province in the northern Sahel bordering 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.

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