Mali: the army liberates in 3 hours an armed zone that France could not liberate in 9 years

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On Friday February 18, the Malian air force carried out a raid in the Gao region. This raid resulted in the destruction of a terrorist base and the neutralization of nearly 60 terrorists.

Despite the death of 8 Malian soldiers, it is a great victory that the Junta in power in Mali has just recorded, in a locality located not far from the borders with Burkina Faso and Niger. The announcement was made Saturday through a statement by the army staff.

According to the statement, the army was looking for terrorist sanctuaries for destruction in the locality of Archam west of Tessit when it was attacked by armed and unidentified individuals. This necessitated the intervention of the Air Force, which« treated and neutralized columns of motorcyclists who tried to overwhelm the hooked unit ».

This operation also aimed to protect civilian populations who were victims of extreme abuses by terrorist groups that had caused their forced displacement from Mali to areas near Burkina Faso and Niger, the statement said.

France, 9 years of failure

It should be remembered here that this area has long been plagued by violent clashes. Over the past few weeks, 40 civilians have lost their lives there. Terrorist groups such as the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (EIGS), the Support Group for Islam and Muslims (GSIM) and the alliance of armed forces belonging to Al-Qaeda have taken up residence there for several years now. . Since 2013, French soldiers from the Barkhane force and European Takuba forces have been fighting terrorists without any real success. At the height of the crisis between Paris and Bamako, the junta instructed the immediate withdrawal of French troops in Mali.

Thursday, February 17, France finally announced the withdrawal of the Barkhane force within six months. The day after this announcement, the Malian army in just 3 hours recovered an area in which the French had not been able to maintain calm in 9 years.

Paris – Bamako, the bridge definitely cut

Just 24 hours after French President Emmanuel Macron announced the Barkhane force within six months, the junta reacted by demanding the withdrawal of said force “without delay”. It was live on national television that the spokesperson for the junta called on France to withdraw its troops without delay.

Colonel Abdoulaye Maïga hammered out the following sentence three times: “In view of these repeated breaches (of) the defense agreements, the government invites the French authorities to withdraw the Barkhane and Takuba forces from the national territory without delay, under the supervision of the Malian authorities”.

With this withdrawal of France, the Malian authorities now have free rein to negotiate with terrorist groups. An idea against which Paris had fiercely opposed.

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