Bamako (AFP) A peacekeeper from Niger was shot dead by militants in northern Mali on Friday, the UN’s mission to the country said, the latest in a spate of deadly attacks on “Blue Helmets” in the conflict-torn country. “Today at 7:00 pm (1900 GMT) two unidentified gunmen opened fire on a MINUSMA vehicle in Gao City,” the mission, known by its acronym MINUSMA, said in the statement. The peacekeeper died on the way to hospital in Gao, the main city in northern Mali, the statement added. Mali is one ofRead More
Bamako (AFP) Fourteen suspected jihadists were killed on Friday during an “alleged escape attempt”, a day after they were taken in for questioning, the Malian army said in a statement. However, two local officials told AFP that 20 civilians had been killed or arrested in Dioura, central Mali, and cast doubt on the prison escape story. On Tuesday Amnesty International called on authorities in Mali to investigate extrajudicial killings following the discovery last week of a mass grave containing six bodies. Once a beacon of democracy and stability in Africa,Read More
Bamako (AFP) Two UN peacekeepers were killed and 10 others wounded on Thursday night during an attack on their camp in northeastern Mali, the UN’s mission there said in a statement. “At 6.45pm (1845 GMT) the peacekeepers came under mortar fire,” the mission, known by its acronym MINUSMA, said in the statement. “According to an initial assessment, two peacekeepers were killed and 10 were wounded,” it added, saying the camp that was attacked was in Aguelhok. Mali is one of the most dangerous UN missions, with more than 150 peacekeepersRead More
Bamako (AFP) Amnesty International on Tuesday called on authorities in Mali to investigate extrajudicial killings following the discovery last week of a mass grave containing six bodies. The rights group said it had collected evidence that “the six bodies found in a mass grave on 25 March had been arrested by the military three days earlier in the village of Dogo and taken away to an unknown location.” “This macabre discovery comes after weeks of escalating violence which has left civilians in central Mali caught in the crossfire, facing enforcedRead More
Bandiagara (Mali) (AFP) Mali’s prime minister promised the creation of specialist anti-terrorism prosecutors on Monday on a visit to the country’s restive centre, along with a disarmament campaign for militias operating in the area. Soumeylou Boubeye Maiga is on a tour of Mali’s most dangerous regions after being appointed in December to bolster security ahead of a presidential election in July. “We will soon set up a special judicial section to investigate and judge terrorist crimes,” Maiga said in Bandiagara, a former tourist destination abandoned by foreign visitors after theRead More
Kidal (Mali) (AFP) Mali’s Prime Minister Soumeylou Boubeye Maiga made a landmark visit to the restive northern town of Kidal on Friday, the first since 2014 by a head of government to an area still in the hands of former rebels. Five French soldiers were wounded in Kidal on Thursday in a jihadist attack, underscoring the security issues faced by domestic and foreign forces in Mali. The prime minister spent several hours in the city after touching down at a UN base, before heading to Gao, another urban centre rockedRead More
Tessalit (Mali) (AFP) Mali’s Prime Minister Soumeylou Boubeye Maiga made his first visit to the country’s troubled north on Thursday, but delayed a trip to the restive city of Kidal due to bad weather. Five French soldiers were wounded on Thursday in Kidal when their base was attacked, the French army said, and France’s defence minister said the assault was likely linked to Maiga’s planned stop. Maiga was appointed in December charged with bolstering security as jihadists mount near-weekly attacks on security forces, raising fears for safety ahead of aRead More
Bamako (AFP) Mali’s premier said Tuesday he will travel to cities in the restive north of the country this week, including ex-rebel-held Kidal, marking the first visit by a Bamako leader in four years. “During my trip, I will go to Kidal where for nearly six years there has been no state administration,” Prime Minister Soumeylou Boubeye Maiga told AFP. In early 2012 Islamist extremists linked to Al-Qaeda and other armed groups took control of Mali’s desert north, but were largely driven out in a French-led military operation launched inRead More
Bamako (AFP) Two Malian militia groups say they have recovered a US military vehicle and weapons that jihadist fighters seized after a deadly ambush of American special forces in neighbouring Niger in October. The attack, which left four US troops dead, shed light on the scale of the US military presence in the Sahel and became a political issue in Washington. The claim was made in a statement released on Wednesday by two armed groups, one of which in 2015 signed up to a peace deal with the Malian governmentRead More
Bamako (AFP) Four UN peacekeepers were killed on Wednesday when a mine exploded under their vehicle in central Mali in a deliberate attack, capping a bloody week for civilians and security forces in the West African nation. Jihadists have ramped up their activities in central Mali in recent months, targeting domestic and foreign forces in violence once confined to the restive north. The UN said in a statement that the “explosion of a mine or IED against a MINUSMA vehicle on the Boni-Douentza road” in the Mopti region killed theRead More