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
Bamako (AFP) Suspected jihadists killed two Malian soldiers overnight in the country’s unstable north, military sources said Monday, adding that they also attacked a police station. Mali’s deteriorating security situation is of growing concern as Al-Qaeda-linked groups mount increasingly deadly attacks on domestic and foreign forces. “Terrorists on motorbikes opened fire” on two soldiers from the National Guard at Gossi, south of Gao, a major city in the region, a military source told AFP. Another source said the two men were shot in the head. On Sunday evening, suspected jihadistsRead More
Bamako (AFP) At least four civilians have been killed in a suspected jihadist attack in northern Mali over the weekend, local officials said Sunday. An unknown number of the attackers were also killed in fighting as the “suspected jihadists killed at least four civilians around Talataye,” a northeastern town of around 14,000 people, regionals official told AFP. Mali’s deteriorating security situation is of growing concern as Al-Qaeda-linked groups mount increasingly deadly attacks on domestic and foreign forces. In the Talataye area the jihadists often target an Azawad group, the traditionallyRead More
Bamako (AFP) Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita declared three days of mourning on Monday for the dozens of people killed over the last week in jihadist attacks and bombings. Keita cancelled travel plans to an African Union summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia over the weekend to visit central Mali, a once calm region whose security situation has rapidly deteriorated in the last few years. The president declared a mourning period beginning on Monday “in tribute to all those who have lost their lives in the last few days in terroristRead More
Bamako (AFP) Fourteen soldiers were killed and 18 wounded on Saturday in an attack on their camp in Mali’s restive north, the army said, while military sources told AFP jihadists were responsible. Mali’s deteriorating security situation is of growing concern as Al-Qaeda-linked groups mount increasingly deadly attacks on domestic and foreign forces, and the country’s president on Saturday cancelled his visit to an African summit. “The Malian armed forces were attacked early this morning, around 4 am, in Soumpi (Timbuktu region). We have recorded 14 dead, 18 wounded and materialRead More