Results tagged “Mali”
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President Traore has excluded all northern factions, including the Barbiche Arab tribes, from talks on Mali's future except the Tuareg MNLA, which occupies Kidal. He called for a decentralized government, and said the separatist issue would be addressed after the presidential election in July. The Malian military seeks to retake Kidal. France is backing talks in Burkina Faso between the MNLA and the Malian government to broker an agreement allowing elections to take place in Kidal while preserving the issue of Tuareg autonomy.
The Tuareg MNLA claimed its forces were attacked in the town of Anefis by militants from the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa; two Tuareg fighters and seven Islamists are said to have been killed in the ongoing clash. The Malian army said the MNLA was fighting not with MUJAO but with another group, the MAA, which is comprised of Malian Arabs from north of Timbuktu.
France's defense minister said his country intends to keep a force of 1,000 soldiers in Mali indefinitely to carry out operations against Islamist terrorists. From May 2 to May 9, French jets carried out a dozen airstrikes in Mali. France has decided to purchase two medium-altitude unarmed Reaper drones from the US Air Force for use in Mali.
At the first international conference on Mali since the French-led intervention in January, donors have pledged $4 billion to help rebuild the country's government, military, and infrastructure; organize presidential elections; stimulate the economy; and establish dialogue with rebel groups in the north. Among the pledges is $673 million from the European Union. The aid agency Oxfam cautioned that development funding must continue for at least 15 years for sustainable results to be achieved.
Jihadists claimed that four Egyptian suicide bombers had died in attacks in Mali, including one who had appeared in videos with Muhammad al Zawahiri, the brother of al Qaeda's emir. The Malian military is preparing to take back Kidal, Tessalit, Abeibara, and Aguelhok from the separatist Tuareg MNLA, which is holding the territory after the French military chased away many of the al Qaeda-linked fighters in the area. French troops still occupy Kidal airport.
A suicide bombing killed two Malian soldiers and at least two Islamist militants in Gao. Eight Malian soldiers were injured in ongoing clashes with militants in a village north of Gao.
The Pentagon said the US has sent about 10 military personnel to Mali to provide "liaison support" to French and African troops in the battle against Islamists in the north, and that 12 other US military personnel are assigned to the US embassy in Bamako. Gilles Le Guen, a French jihadist recently captured north of Timbuktu, may be extradited to France.
Gilles Le Guen, a French jihadist suspected of participating in the attack on the In Amenas gas facility in Algeria earlier this year, was arrested in northern Mali a few days ago. Le Guen, a.k.a. Abdel Jelil, is being interrogated by the French military before being turned over to Malian forces.
The French government announced that a French soldier was killed in combat in the far north of the country. He is the sixth French soldier killed since the intervention began in January. The soldier was killed and two others were wounded when their vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb.
The UN authorized a peacekeeping force of 11,200 soldiers and 1,440 police officers in Mali, to deploy on July 1. The force will work to stabilize the country for a return to civilian rule and help a European training mission build the Malian army. The resolution permits French troops to intervene if the UN force is confronted with an "imminent and serious threat."
Malian forces arrested 12 terrorists in Djebok on April 16, including a MUJAO explosives expert. Ansar Dine commander Mohamed Moussa Ag Mouhamed and MUJAO commander Oumeini Ould Baba Ahmed are also said to have been arrested. Arrest warrants have been issued for leaders from the MNLA, MUJAO, and AQIM, including MNLA Secretary-General Bilal Ag Acherif; Ansar Dine leader Iyad Ag Ghaly, Oumar Ould Hamaha, Sanda Ould Bouamama; and MUJAO member and suspected drug trafficker Cherif Ould Tahar.
France proposed the creation of a UN force of 11,200 military personnel and 1,440 international police to take over security in northern Mali on July 1. The draft resolution would allow French forces to intervene in Mali at the UN's request if there was a serious and imminent threat to the UN force. The Malian Red Cross says refugees from the conflict in the north still have great needs.
Chad said it is withdrawing its forces from Mali, just days after three Chadian soldiers were killed by a suicide attack in Kidal. Tuaregs loyal to the Malian government are assisting the French to rid the country of Islamist militants.
A suicide bomber killed three Chadian soldiers and wounded four more in an attack in a Kidal market. A combat helicopter crashed outside Sevare, killing five Malian soldiers including a senior officer. The country's largest political party has picked a candidate for the presidential election this summer.
French Foreign Minister Drian visited the Ifhogas mountains, where French, Chadian, and Malian troops have been fighting Islamists, and stated that 70 per cent of the task of ridding the area of jihadists has been accomplished. He said the quantity and nature of weaponry seized showed that the jihadists planned to use Mali as a base for attacks on neighboring countries and Europe. France has begun withdrawing its troops, to the dismay of Malian leaders. Four civilians were killed in Timbuktu.
A force of 1,000 French troops has begun sweeping a valley north of Gao to rid the area of remaining Islamist militants. On the first day of the operation, no militants were found but 340 artillery shells and high-caliber rockets were discovered and neutralized. Malians in Timbuktu remain anxious that the militants will return, and French forces believe many of the militants have switched from trucks to camels to avoid airstrikes.
Chadian troops are being redeployed from the Ifoghas Mountains to Kidal, which is occupied by MNLA forces but is not fully secure. The French foreign minister visited Mali to discuss plans for the French withdrawal.
The European Union's Military Training Mission in Mali has begun training the country's estimated 6,000 soldiers; about 3,000 will be trained this year and some 670 should be combat-ready this summer. The Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) issued a report on its operations in Mali since January, claiming nine operations, mostly in Gao, involving foreign as well as Malian fighters.
Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb took credit for the weekend's suicide attack in Timbuktu, stating on a Mauritanian website that the bomber was an Algerian from the Yusuf bin Tashfin brigade, formerly commanded by Abou Zeid. French and Malian forces, which are going door-to-door to root out remaining Islamist militants, have killed 11 militants in the city since the attack started on March 30.
A suicide car bomber detonated at a Timbuktu checkpoint, killing himself and wounding at least one soldier. Militants and Malian forces are fighting in the streets of Timbuktu. Outside the northern city of Asongo, two people were killed when an army vehicle drove over a roadside bomb.