Malian army plans anti-jihadist operation in restive centre

2018-01-11 19:48


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Bamako - Mali's army is to deploy patrols in an operation to fight jihadists in the country's restive centre, according to documents and sources consulted by AFP, as the government expresses concern over extreme instability in the area.

Newly-appointed Prime Minister Soumeylou Boubeye Maiga said last week "urgent measures" were required to address Al-Qaeda-linked groups who control territory in the area.

The eventual deployment of around 1 000 soldiers is aimed at "assuring the security of people and goods as well as fighting the jihadists," a Malian defence ministry official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

A security plan will include foot and motorbike patrols in the community, copying the modus operandi of jihadist networks in the area, according to a document outlining the measures.

Meanwhile a "mobile government" would provide basic services to populations excluded from access by living in at-risk areas, notably in the education sector, the document seen by AFP said.

The defence ministry source said the inclusion of foreign forces operating in the country could not be ruled out, though the United Nations mission, French troops and soldiers from the G5 Sahel nations operating in Mali have not confirmed they would take part.

Long-simmering inter-ethnic tensions have been exploited by Islamists in central Mali as the state has retreated, propogating violence that was once limited to the north.

In March and April 2012, jihadist groups linked to al-Qaeda seized control of the arid north of Mali, including celebrated ancient cities such as Gao and Timbuktu, centres of trans-Saharan trade and learning.

The extremists were largely driven out in a French-led military operation launched in January 2013, but large tracts of the country remain lawless.

The UN's Mali mission is the world's most dangerous active deployment, with more than 140 peacekeepers killed since its launch, 89 of them by enemy action.

Read more on:    al qaeda  |  mali  |  west africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.