Home WORLD AFRICA At least 20 civilians and a peacekeeper killed in northern Mali

At least 20 civilians and a peacekeeper killed in northern Mali

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Criminal terrorists on Saturday murdered at least 20 civilians in several hamlets in the commune of Anchawadja few tens of kilometers north of Gao, assured by telephone to theAFP a local police official on condition of anonymity.

Another police official in Bamako, also on condition of anonymity, confirmed toAFP km north of Gao, and in neighboring localities”,”text”:”the assassination on Saturday of around twenty civilians in Ebak, 35km north of Gao, and in neighboring localities”}}”>the assassination on Saturday of around twenty civilians in Ebak, 35 km north of Gao, and in neighboring localitiesevoking an act perpetrated by armed criminals.

civilians in the commune of Anchawadj. There is general panic”,”text”:”Jihadists murdered 24 civilians in the town of Anchawadj on Saturday. It’s the general panic”}}”>Jihadists murdered 24 civilians in the town of Anchawadj on Saturday. It’s general panicfor its part affirmed a local authority to theAFP.

No other source confirmed that the jihadists were the perpetrators of these attacks.

However, in this immense Sahelian region, attacks by jihadists affiliated with the armed group Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (EIGS) are more and more frequent and their field of action is widening.

The meager reports from this remote and difficult-to-reach area point to hundreds of civilians killed and thousands displaced in recent months in the regions of Ménaka, near the border with Niger, and Gao, further west. .

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On Wednesday, the Movement for the Salvation of Azawad (MSA), one of the groups fighting against the jihadists, assured that 22 people had been killed by armed men in the locality of Izingaz, in the Ménaka region. No other source has confirmed or denied this information.

Situation very worrying

The elected representative of the Gao region described Sunday to theAFP a very worrying situation in the commune of Anchawadj with many civilians fleeing the abuses jihadists in neighboring villages.

A good part of the Gao region and that of Ménaka is occupied by jihadistshe continued. The state must do something.

This region has been the scene of violence since the start of the conflict in 2012, when armed rebel groups rose up against Bamako. In 2015, they signed a peace agreement with Mali which is still struggling to be applied.

In addition to these armed groups, jihadist movements – affiliated with Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State organization – operate in the area, fighting against the symbols of the state, against those they accuse of supporting it as well as among themselves. for territorial control.

Traffickers and other bandits are also present in this desert region where the state is almost non-existent.

Security deterioration

Recently, the security situation has deteriorated badly deteriorated in the regions of Gao and Ménaka, indicated in his last report the Secretary General of theUNAntonio Guterres.

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The continuing terrorist threat [s’y] extendhe lamented, worrying about the absence of a sustained presence of the security forces and the public administration in these areas.

Malian soldiers, blue helmets from the Mission of theUN in Mali (MINUSMA, 13,000 soldiers) as well as French soldiers from Operation Barkhane.

The latter, who began a gradual withdrawal from Mali at the beginning of the year, must definitively leave the base of Gao, the last enclave where they are still present in Mali, at the end of the summeraccording to the French general staff.

Sunday morning, a Guinean peacekeeper was killed in the explosion of a mine in Kidal, further north, while participating in a security patrol in a mine search and detection operation, according to MINUSMA .

This new death occurs in a tense context of negotiations on the renewal of the mandate of MINUSMA, the peacekeeping mission of theUN who suffered the most casualties.

Since its creation in 2013, 175 of its peacekeepers have died in hostile acts.

Mali, a poor and landlocked country in the heart of the Sahel, was the scene of two military coups in August 2020 and May 2021. The political crisis goes hand in hand with a serious security crisis that has been ongoing since 2012 and with the outbreak separatist and jihadist insurgencies in the north.

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