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Africa. Sahel AOO.

Discussion in 'Possible Events Impacting Deployments' started by Rover, Mar 17, 2018.

  1. Rover

    Rover Moderator

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    Mali attack kills 53 soldiers in north of the country

    • 33 minutes ago

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-50273312



    Militants in north-east Mali have killed 53 soldiers and one civilian in an attack on a military post, the government said.

    This makes it one of the deadliest assaults of the past decade.

    In a tweet, the army described it as a "terrorist attack".

    Mali has suffered violence since 2012, when Islamist militants took over the north of the country. With the help of France, Mali's army has recaptured the territory but insecurity continues.

    The violence has also spread to other countries in the region.

    Reinforcements sent to the post after Friday's attack found 10 survivors and "significant material damage", government spokesperson Yaya Sangare said.

    No group has said it was behind the assault in Indelimane in the Menaka region.

    Thirty-eight soldiers died when two military camps were attacked near the border with Burkina Faso at the end of September.

    Mali - along with Burkina Faso, Chad, Niger and Mauritania - is part of an anti-insurgency force supported by France known as the G5 Sahel.

    The five-nation group blamed "suspected members of Ansarul Islam" for September's attack.

    Ansarul Islam, meaning Defenders of Islam, was created in 2016 by the radical and popular preacher Ibrahim Malam Dicko. He reportedly fought with Islamist militants in the north of Mali in 2012.
     
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  2. Rover

    Rover Moderator

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    • Thirteen French troops killed in helicopter crash in Mali. 47 minutes ago


    upload_2019-11-26_10-52-54.jpg Image copyright Reuters Image caption Thousands of French troops have been deployed to combat jihadists across a vast area of northern Africa

    Thirteen French soldiers were killed when two helicopters collided during an operation against jihadists in Mali, the French president's office said.

    Monday's accident is one of the worst losses of life for the French military in decades.

    French President Emmanuel Macron expressed his "deep sadness" over the incident. An investigation has begun.

    In 2013, France deployed thousands of troops to Mali after Islamist militants seized huge parts of the north.

    Mali's army has since recaptured the territory but insecurity there continues and the violence has spread to other countries in the region.

    /*text deleted*/ (function() { if (window.bbcdotcom && bbcdotcom.adverts && bbcdotcom.adverts.slotAsync) { bbcdotcom.adverts.slotAsync('mpu', [1,2,3]); } })(); /*text deleted*/ France now has 4,500 troops deployed to support the forces of Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Burkina Faso and Chad against Islamist militants.

     

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  3. GreenNugget

    GreenNugget Guest

    Thanks news bot... I mean Rover!
     
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  4. Johnny_Anonie

    Johnny_Anonie Moderator

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    Ok, it is getting really tiresome asking you to adhere to basic rules of forum conduct. The post above your comedy is about the tragic loss of 13 french lives. We promote respect here.
    No more warnings from me- you are having some time away from the forum.
     
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  5. Corvo50

    Corvo50 Royal Marines Commando

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    why would you even make a comment like this?
     
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  6. Corvo50

    Corvo50 Royal Marines Commando

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    @Rover i thank you for posting this, certainly not something the main stream news stations will report and it’s always good to be aware of what’s going on. Especially when the Corp/SB have lads out in Mali
     
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  7. Rover

    Rover Moderator

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    upload_2019-11-26_20-22-2.jpg

    Africa

    RAF Chinook Part Of Response After French Troops Killed In Mali Helicopter Crash

    The Chinook helped take French troops from the main Gao base to a forward operating base.

    26th November 2019 at 4:24pm


    A Chinook was involved in the response following the incident (Library picture: RAF).

    A Royal Air Force Chinook has been involved in the response effort after 13 French soldiers died in Mali.

    The French personnel died after a mid-air collision between two helicopters on Monday evening.


    French President Emmanuel Macron expressed "deep sadness" at the news, and stressed the "courage of the French soldiers".

    Following the incident, an RAF Chinook helped take French troops from the main Gao base to a forward operating base.

    upload_2019-11-26_20-22-2.jpg Africa's Sahel region where French troops in Mali are fighing Islamic extremism (Picture: PA).

    French defence minister, Florence Parly, said an investigation was underway.

    The operation in West and Central Africa involves 4,500 personnel and is France's largest overseas military mission.

    Defence Secretary Ben Wallace offered his "deepest condolences" to the families and friends of the victims.

    Mr Wallace said: "I offer my deepest condolences to the families and friends of the French soldiers who died in a tragic incident in Mali.

    "We pay tribute to their role in fighting terrorism in the Sahel alongside UK personnel and are indebted to them for their courage and bravery in service to their nation."

    upload_2019-11-26_20-22-2.jpg

    Africa

    How Africa Is Becoming The Western Front In The Struggle Against Militant Islam

    24th January 2019

    More than 100 local troops have been killed in the past two months, with so-called Islamic State (IS) claiming responsibility.

    A a five-nation regional counter-terror force and a UN peacekeeping mission contribute to a number of efforts to counter to rising extremist threats in the country.



    https://www.forces.net/news/french-troops-killed-after-mid-air-helicopter-crash-mali
     
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  8. Johnny_Anonie

    Johnny_Anonie Moderator

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    This is terribly sad news. I read that this is the biggest single loss of life for the French military since the 1980s. Undoubtedly an investigation has begun into how the two helicopters collided.

    Our involvement in Mali is really interesting I feel. The use of the chinook shouldn’t just be viewed as a gesture of good will. It proves that the UK is able to provide meaningful support at considerable distance from home, and do so without compromising french combat operations. We also have a number of C17s operating in Mali. Very, very few countries would have been able to provide this sort of non confrontational strategic effect, and means that the UK has a real asset that can be brought into play.


    Stability in Africa matters for us all. If Mali falls into chaos then it threatens regional stability. Which in turn a starts a cycle of war, human disaster and anarchy can create instability, refugees, economic problems and lead to a fertile recruiting ground for insurgents and terrorist. It’s important we don’t over look it.
     
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  9. Corona

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    I feel its crazy I haven't heard anything about anything in Mali, none of my friends, teachers or parents have either. What you say makes sense and surely would warrant more news coverage.
     
  10. Johnny_Anonie

    Johnny_Anonie Moderator

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    Essentially thousands of French troops have been deployed to Mali since 2013 after militants overran parts of the north. The UK are providing a number of assets ( including a number of chinooks and two C17s) to support the French.
     
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  11. Corona

    Corona Member

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    Thanks.
    https://cervens.net/forum/index.php?threads/opération-“barkhane”.22373/
    I found this thread which I think goes into some detail of such operations there
     
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  12. Johnny_Anonie

    Johnny_Anonie Moderator

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    I believe there is approximately 250 UK troops there currently.
     
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  13. sharpe

    sharpe Active Member

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    If the US holds true on Donald’s hands off foreign policy approach I think we’re going to be tied in with the French a lot more militarily. That Mali front looks a massive hot bed for ISIS related insurgents
     
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  14. Rover

    Rover Moderator

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    Now from the BBC.......


    Why France is focused on fighting jihadists in Mali

    • 6 hours ago

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-50558972


    upload_2019-11-27_6-29-36.jpg Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Malian soldiers operate in difficult terrain where temperatures can climb to around 50C

    As jihadist violence escalates in Mali, analyst Paul Melly considers if France can persuade the rest of Europe to join the deadly fight.

    Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly has called on fellow EU governments to despatch special forces to the Sahel, to help curb militant attacks that have killed more than 100 Malian troops in recent weeks.

    But France, too, is paying a heavy price for its role in the struggle against Sahel jihadism, with the death of 13 soldiers when two helicopters collided on Monday.

    Altogether, it has lost 38 troops in this almost seven-year campaign.

    Murderous ambushes

    Extremist violence, sometimes intermingled with criminal trafficking or local community tensions, is disrupting everyday life and any hopes of development in this desperately poor region, which fringes the Sahara.

    /*text deleted*/ (function() { if (window.bbcdotcom && bbcdotcom.adverts && bbcdotcom.adverts.slotAsync) { bbcdotcom.adverts.slotAsync('mpu', [1,2,3]); } })(); /*text deleted*/ upload_2019-11-27_6-29-36.jpg Image copyright Reuters Image caption European allies have been lending the Mali army some support

    But the causes are complex and neither negotiations nor military operations have yet managed to restore security.

    Indeed, the crisis appears to be getting worse.

    Despite Sahelian countries' creation of a joint force to tackle terrorism, and the presence of 4,500 French soldiers and more than 14,000 UN peacekeepers, this year has seen the jihadist groups step up their war against Mali and its international allies.

    upload_2019-11-27_6-29-36.jpg

    In the central regions jihadist activity is led by the charismatic preacher Amadou Koufa, who is Fulani, a largely Muslim ethnic group of semi-nomadic herders known in Mali as the Peulh.

    This has become interwoven with tensions over resources such as land, grazing and water, undermining relations with another local Muslim ethnic group, the Dogon, some of whom have formed their own rival militia.

    Further east, dubbed the "three frontiers region" where Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger converge, has seen repeated cross-border attacks by armed groups, one of which claims allegiance to the Islamic State (IS) group.

    Militants have staged a string of murderous ambushes, extended their activity across much of Burkina Faso and even kidnapped two tourists from a national park in northern Benin, confirming fears that they could soon pose a threat to coastal countries from Ivory Coast and Ghana to Nigeria.

    Mali 'not forgotten'

    This is not an African crisis that has been ignored by the rest of the world. Quite the contrary in fact.

    It features regularly in discussions of the UN Security Council and the UN operation in Mali (Minusma), includes troops from Asia, Canada and Europe as well as Africa.

    upload_2019-11-27_6-29-36.jpg Image copyright AFP Image caption France, which intervened in Mali in 2013 to stop jihadists moving south, now runs an anti-insurgent operation across the Sahel

    Moreover, since 2013 the EU has been retraining the Malian army, while the French anti-terrorism force, Operation Barkhane, deployed across the Sahel is supported by British helicopters, other European allies as well as US surveillance drones.

    upload_2019-11-27_6-29-36.jpg

    Main jihadist groups:

    upload_2019-11-27_6-29-36.jpg Image copyright AFP

    • Group for the Support of Islam and Muslims (GSIM), alliance of jihadists, comprising:

      Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (Aqim)

      Ansar Dine, led by GSIM overall leader Iyad Ag Ghaly

      The Macina Liberation Front, led by Amadou Koufa
    • The Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS), affiliated to IS, active in north-east Mali

    • Ansarul Islam, active in northern Burkina

      upload_2019-11-27_6-29-36.jpg

      Yet the security crisis continues to deepen.

      Minusma is the most dangerous UN mission in the world, having lost 206 personnel over the past six years.

      Overseeing the fragile 2015 peace deal between the Mali governments and those groups that are not engaged in jihadist terrorism, the Blue Helmets force is trying to support local communities.

      But with supply lines extending over many hundreds of kilometres to their isolated bases, its troops are highly vulnerable.

      Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Minusca troops often feel vulnerable

      However, it is the armies of the G5 Sahel countries (Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Mauritania and Chad) themselves that bear the brunt of the jihadist campaign.

      They are desperate for more international funding and equipment for their own 5,000-strong joint force.

      The Malian army in particular is struggling to cope: far from the capital, Bamako, in difficult terrain where temperatures can climb to around 50C in hot months, soldiers are at risk both when they move on patrol and when they barricade themselves into isolated rural garrison bases.

      upload_2019-11-27_6-29-36.jpg

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      upload_2019-11-27_6-29-36.jpg

      This year has proved especially lethal: the deaths of more than 100 Malian soldiers in ambushes at Boulikessi (in Mopti region), Indélimane and Tabankort since late September have struck a brutal blow against the morale of an army that already feels under-equipped and short of support.

      French troops, supported by helicopters and Mirage 2000 strike planes, provide emergency back-up whenever they can.

      But they are covering a vast region where, even with US surveillance drone support, it is hard to track down small bands of militants, darting across the arid terrain on motorbikes.

      Jobs not guns

      Everyone is agreed that military action along cannot bring an end to terrorism and restore stability.

      upload_2019-11-27_6-29-36.jpg

      Main militias (not jihadist):

      Image copyright Getty Images
    • Co-ordination of Azawad Movements (CMA), former Tuareg separatists who signed the 2015 peace deal, including:

      National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA)

      The High Council for Unity of (HCUA)
    • The Platform, a pro-government alliance of militias in northern Mali who signed the 2015 peace deal, including:

      The Imghad Tuareg Self-Defence Group and Allies (Gatia), led by Ag Gamou

      Ganda Koy (meaning Masters of the Land)

      The Movement for the Salvation of Azawad (MSA)
    • Dan Na Ambassagou (meaning Hunters who trust in God), a Dogon militia launched in central Mali in 2016, in theory dissolved by government but still a factor


      Health, education, justice and basic administration are needed to build community support for the Malian state.

      More jobs and livelihoods could reduce the risk of disenchanted young men being drawn into jihadist groups or criminal gangs offering money and the status that can come with carrying a weapon.

      A wide range of donors have committed large aid budgets to the Sahel, motivated by concern over poverty and climate change in this fragile region so prone to drought - and also by fear of the knock-on impact of terrorism and a potential resurgence in the flow of migrants across the Sahara and Mediterranean.

      Image copyright Getty Images Image caption More jobs would stop children being lured into jihadist groups with the promise of money

      But even with ample aid support, it is difficult to provide effective public services or grassroots economic development when conditions are so insecure and government employees face intimidatory threats and sometimes the risk of assassination.

      Mistrust hampers progress

      In central Mali there have been some negotiations at community level that could develop into a more sustained local peace process.

      But it is fragile at best, hampered by mistrust as well as reluctance at a political level.

      Image copyright Getty Images Image caption These Fulani militiamen went to hand in their weapons earlier this year

      Further north, there has been some progress in the demobilisation of fighters from the armed groups signed up to the 2015 peace accord.

      The intention is that many of these should be absorbed into special integrated army units, to reinforce local security.

      But here too, progress has been fitful, and not helped by the government's reluctance to fully develop public services in Kidal, the north-eastern regional capital still under the control of former Tuareg separatists, even though the latter are signatories of the peace accord.

      The present military approach being pursued by the Sahel armies and their international partners is not working, at least not sufficiently - and France is well aware of the need for a fresh approach.

      This is one of the world's poorest regions and a much greater focus on development is essential. But that still cannot happen without better security.

      That is why - despite the shocking loss of 13 men in this week's helicopter crash - President Emmanuel Macron remains committed to the military campaign, in alliance with Sahelian governments.

      But Paris is desperate for other European countries to do more to help share the burden.

      Paul Melly is a consulting fellow with the UK-based think-tank Chatham House and a journalist who specialises in Francophone Africa.
     
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