Mali

Bamako (AFP) Gunmen attacked a UN base in central Mali on Monday, killing a UN peacekeeper and a Malian soldier, the United Nations said, denouncing a “revolting terrorist attack”. The soldiers were killed during an attack in Douentza, in the Mopti region, according to a statement from the UN mission in the country, known by the acronym MINUSMA. Another peacekeeper was wounded but not seriously, the statement said. A group of attackers “fired at a MINUSMA camp from an adjacent hill,” with the Malian armed forces returning fire, according toRead More
Bamako (AFP) Former rebels are holding child prisoners in their stronghold city of Kidal following clashes with a rival armed group in northern Mali, the United Nations said Thursday. Fighting between the ex-rebels of the Coordination of Movements of Azawad (CMA) and the pro-government Platform group has worsened in recent weeks in northern Mali, in repeated violation of a 2015 ceasefire. The CMA said in late July it was holding dozens of prisoners in Kidal, a city it controls, after dismantling a base of the GATIA militia — part ofRead More
Bamako (AFP) The United Nations said Saturday it was investigating mass graves found in a northern Mali town along with a slew of human rights abuses committed by armed groups vying for control of the area. The pro-government Platform group has clashed repeatedly with the former rebels of the Coordination of Movements of Azawad (CMA) since June, violating a 2015 peace deal they signed aimed at ending separatist unrest and jihadist inroads into Mali’s north. The UN mission in the country said in a statement that human rights investigators hadRead More
Bamako (AFP) French and German support for a regional Sahel force to battle jihadists will persuade other European nations of the benefits of backing the counter-terror measure, Germany’s defence minister said Tuesday. Ursula von der Leyen spoke to journalists in Bamako after talks with President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, arriving six days after a helicopter crash in the country’s north killed two German crew who were monitoring clashes for the United Nations mission to Mali. Von der Leyen said the discussion had centred on the autumn deployment of the force fromRead More
Bamako (AFP) A group of former separatist rebels in Mali killed “dozens” of members of a pro-government armed group before a UN helicopter monitoring the fighting crashed in the country’s north, sources told AFP Thursday. The UN has confirmed two German crew members belonging to its MINUSMA peacekeeping mission were killed while observing the area near the city of Gao following the clashes. UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix said Thursday the helicopter “was conducting surveillance over Tabankort in the aftermath of violent clashes between the signatory armed groups,”Read More
Bamako (AFP) Two German UN peacekeepers were killed Wednesday when their helicopter crashed as they were monitoring clashes in northern Mali, German and UN officials said. UN diplomats confirmed that the attack helicopter and the crew had been supplied by Germany to MINUSMA, the UN mission in Mali. “Sadly we now know that two Bundeswehr (German army) soldiers have given their lives for our country,” German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen said in Berlin late Wednesday. According to German army Vice Admiral Joachim Georg Ruehle, standing beside her, theRead More
Bamako (AFP) A Malian activist whose fierce criticism of politicians and religious figures on YouTube has made him a cult figure, survived an assassination attempt on Tuesday, his family told AFP. “Marshall Madou”, real name Madou Kante, called for calm following the attempt on his life, as his supporters rallied around. Kante was driving in the capital Bamako at around 1:00 am on Tuesday when a gunman fired several times at him, Kante and his family told AFP. “They just took the bullet out of my body,” he said fromRead More
Bamako (AFP) The bodies of eight missing Malian soldiers have been found following a presumed jihadist attack on July 9, official sources told AFP Monday. The soldiers were ambushed in Mali’s northeast and two escaped with their lives, but until now there had been no trace of the missing. “Eight soldiers missing after clashes with terrorists near Menaka have been found Monday killed by bullets,” a senior army official told AFP. A local official in the area said eight bodies were found in Inkadogotane, 60 kilometres (37 miles) from theRead More
Bamako (AFP) The Malian army said Friday it had killed a top jihadist commander operating in the country’s troubled central region, following heavy fighting in the north against jihadists and among armed groups this week. Bekaye Sangare, a senior figure in the Macina Brigades, a group that joined a powerful jihadist alliance formed in March, was killed in the town of Mougna by Mali’s National Guard, a military source told AFP. Sangare was behind “several attacks in the area against police and customs checkpoints,” the same source said, specifically alongRead More
Bamako (AFP) Mali’s constitutional court Wednesday dealt another blow to embattled President Ibrahima Boubacar Keita over a controversial referendum, saying changes his government wants to make to the national charter require “corrections”. A referendum on Mali’s national charter was due on July 9 but was postponed indefinitely in the face of internal opposition in government and following protests by thousands of Malians. The project is controversial as it would establish a Senate with a third of the seats appointed by Keita himself, leading critics to accuse him of consolidating hisRead More