•   
  •   

World How Mali's coup affects the fight against jihadists

21:41  22 september  2020
21:41  22 september  2020 Source:   bbc.com

The jihadists and the 'curse' of Mozambique's riches

  The jihadists and the 'curse' of Mozambique's riches Three years into an escalating insurgency, the president admits the "resource curse" is to blame.President Filipe Nyusi is finally facing the reality of the "resource curse".

A month after the coup in Mali , the military leaders remain firmly committed to the fight against jihadists , but until there is a deal on restoring democracy the position looks fragile, writes West Africa analyst Paul Melly. The final shape of Mali ' s promised transition to new elections is yet to be settled

Mali coup . media captionThe mutinying soldiers were cheered by crowds as they reached the French President Emmanuel Macron also urged a return to civilian rule, saying " the fight against France, Mali ' s former colonial ruler, has several thousand troops based in Mali fighting Islamist How did the coup take place? It appears that mutinying soldiers took control of the Kati army camp, about

a person wearing a costume © AFP

A month after the coup in Mali, the military leaders remain firmly committed to the fight against jihadists, but until there is a deal on restoring democracy the position looks fragile, writes West Africa analyst Paul Melly.

The final shape of Mali's promised transition to new elections is yet to be settled several weeks after soldiers seized power in Bamako, forcing President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta to resign, although former Defence Minister Ban Ndaw has been named as interim leader.

Virus fears stop Indian Sikhs visiting Pakistan site for festival

  Virus fears stop Indian Sikhs visiting Pakistan site for festival Coronavirus fears meant a historic travel corridor created last year to let Indian Sikhs visit a holy shrine in northeast Pakistan remained closed Tuesday on one of the faith's most sacred days. Hundreds of Pakistani Sikhs visited the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, a huge temple in Kartarpur marking the grave of Sikhism's founder Guru Nanak, to commemorate the 481st anniversary of his death. This year would have been the first time Indian Sikhs could have crossed visa-free into Pakistan to mark the anniversary at the site, located just four kilometres (two miles) inside the country, after a special crossing was opened in November 2019.

So far the coup leaders in Mali have pledged to maintain their international commitments However, Mali ' s ousted president was among its most vocal supporters and the force already has been The Presidential Guard was dissolved after a failed coup against the transitional government and security

So far the coup leaders in Mali have pledged to maintain their international commitments, presumably to the G5 among others. Burkina Faso' s military is ill-equipped and under-trained and, as the force targets civilians perceived to support the jihadists , accusations are mounting of extrajudicial killings

The junta hope this will satisfy fellow members of the Ecowas bloc of West African countries to accept its plan, after weekend talks to reassure opposition sceptics.

But from the outset, the putchists sent a clear message to the international partners who have thousands of troops deployed to tackle the decade-old security crisis that sees northern Mali continuing to suffer jihadist attacks while central areas are scarred by inter-communal tensions and violence.

Colonel Major Ismaël Wagué, spokesman for the junta - the self-proclaimed National Committee for the Salvation of the People (CNSP) - insisted that the UN peacekeeping force in Mali, the French anti-terrorist force, troops from allied Sahelian countries and a new European special forces operation were all "partners in the restoration of stability".

Mali. Former Minister of Defense Ba N'Daou appointed transitional president

 Mali. Former Minister of Defense Ba N'Daou appointed transitional president © REUTERS / Moussa Kalapo Colonel Malick Diaw, one of the junta leaders of the National Committee for the Salvation of the People (CNSP), who ousted President of Mali, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, attends a meeting with representatives of political parties and civil society groups to discuss the formation of a transitional government in Bamako, Mali September 5, 2020. (Photo by illustration) The new president is supposed to serve as head of state for several months before civilians return to power.

So far the coup leaders in Mali have pledged to maintain their international commitments, presumably to the G5 among others. Burkina Faso' s military is ill-equipped and under-trained and, as the force targets civilians perceived to support the jihadists , accusations are mounting of extrajudicial killings

Mali has several jihadi groups in its northern deserts and there are fears they could take advantage of the coup . They did so following the previous military takeover in 2012. The coup leaders have promised to respect international agreements on fighting jihadists .

a group of people standing in front of a crowd: A protest earlier in the year called for the departure of French troops from Mali © AFP A protest earlier in the year called for the departure of French troops from Mali

Over the past year or so there had been signs that some Malians were increasingly resentful of the French military presence, despite their role as vital allies for the over-stretched and sometimes beleaguered national forces.

But Col Maj Wagué scrupulously refrained from indulging simplistic nationalistic sentiment.

He made it clear that Mali's new military masters were keen to continue working closely with the international forces - just as they were hoping to secure Ecowas agreement to their plans for the political road ahead.

More on the coup:

  • Cheered at home but neighbours upset
  • The popular imam who precipitated Mali's coup

Although a final deal with the regional bloc on transition terms is proving elusive, the jihadist threat remains.

So the military campaign in the north continues - and it remains a pretty high-risk exercise: two more French soldiers were killed by a roadside bomb near the Saharan town of Taoudenni on 5 September, just the latest in a conflict that has claimed 45 French lives and many more Malian and UN casualties since 2011.

Mali faces recession, political crisis after coup

  Mali faces recession, political crisis after coup Mali faces mountainous economic and political challenges more than a month after the military coup that toppled president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, analysts say. Plagued by graft and poverty, the Sahel state was already battling a severe downturn, aggravated by a jihadist insurgency and ethnic violence, when the military seized control on August 18. Mali is now barrelling into a recession as the coronavirus pandemic and sanctions imposed by its neighbours take effect, economist Etienne Fakaba Sissoko said.

So far the coup leaders in Mali have pledged to maintain their international commitments However, Mali ’ s ousted president was among its most vocal supporters and the force already has been The Presidential Guard was dissolved after a failed coup against the transitional government and security

How to Spend Your Bonus. France remains committed to fighting Islamist militants in West Africa, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said, two days after French troops killed a prominent jihadist “France will stay in Mali as long as necessary and as long as Mali wants,” Philippe told reporters in

Heavy defeats for Mali's military

While many troops have been killed in small incidents, there have also been major attacks in which dozens have died, usually when outlying Mali army garrisons are overrun.

a man wearing a costume © BBC

The first such incident - the "Aguelhok massacre" of January 2012, when jihadist and Tuareg separatist militants executed around 100 captives after seizing a remote desert base - helped to fuel the discontent among rank and file troops that culminated in a mutiny and military coup in March of that year.

More than seven years later, and despite a long-running European Union programme to retrain the military and rebuild both their morale and their technical military skills, the army was still suffering occasional heavy defeats.

Militancy in Mali:

  • Why France is focused on fighting jihadists in Mali
  • The women keeping peace in the deadliest place
  • The war in the desert
  • How West Africa is under threat from militants

This time particularly at the hands of Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS), which claims allegiance to the Middle Eastern group.

Civilian leader to be sworn in after Mali coup

  Civilian leader to be sworn in after Mali coup The ex-defence minister was picked by the coup leader to head a transitional government until elections.Former Defence Minister Bah Ndaw, 70, was picked by the coup leader, Colonel Assimi Goita, to head a transitional government until elections, which are expected in 18 months.

Hectic diplomacy and preparations for a UN-backed war against a branch of al-Qaeda in the Sahara desert are both proceeding apace.

Ankara (AFP) - Turkey on Friday insisted its military will keep up the fight against Islamic State jihadists and other militants after the failed coup A senior US military commander had been quoted by American media as saying that the turmoil in post- coup Turkey could affect its role in the US-led

Last year, on 30 September and 1 October, up to 85 soldiers died when ISGS overran their base at Boulikessi on the Burkina Faso border.

Then on 1 November 2019, another 49 were killed in an ISGS assault on a base at Indélimane, near the border with Niger in the far east of the country.

a close up of a map © BBC

Weaknesses in training and shortages of equipment contributed in part to such disasters.

But there was also widespread frustration with the inconsistency of political leadership from ex-President Keïta in Bamako and a sense that too few members of the governing class were really focused on fully implementing the 2015 peace deal with northern Tuareg separatists.

Procrastination over demobilising separatist fighters and devolving power and money to the regional level has fuelled a mood of disillusion in which terrorism can persist.

Exasperation at this state of affairs seems to have been a major factor behind the 18 August military coup - whose leaders included several officers with experience of the difficult conditions faced by the military in the north.

a group of people on a beach © BBC

In the very short term, Malian forces can continue their campaign in alliance with their key international partners - the French force Barkhane, troops from fellow members of the G5 Sahel states (Mali, Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad), the new European special forces deployment Takuba and of course the UN force Minusma.

'Republic' hashtag trends in Thailand as protest anger simmers

  'Republic' hashtag trends in Thailand as protest anger simmers An unprecedented "republic" hashtag went viral on Thai social media Friday as pro-democracy activists vented their frustration at delays to constitutional reforms they blame on the kingdom's premier. Thailand has seen near-daily protests for the past two months, calling for reform of the monarchy and the resignation of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha, a former army chief who led a 2014 coup. Lawmakers had been expected to vote on constitutional changes overnight Thursday but these will now be further scrutinised by a parliamentary committee.

The latter's main task is to maintain stability rather than actively chase jihadist groups - but this has not prevented it securing the dubious distinction of being the world's most dangerous UN peacekeeping operation, having lost at least 220 troops since it was first deployed in 2013.

Tapping into local grievances

But the complex challenge facing all these forces, local and national, is that the restoration of stability in the north and centre of Mali depends on a lot more than simply hunting down groups of militants.

a man riding a dinosaur: Stability is crucial for development in the north © AFP Stability is crucial for development in the north

Barkhane in particular has pulled off a series of strikes against jihadist of various allegiances, and killed a number of well-known commanders, including Abdelmalek Droukdel, the leader of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, intercepted on 3 June this year just after he had slipped into Mali from northern Algeria.

But such strikes have not prevented jihadist violence persisting right across the north, from the Niger River inland delta near Mauritania to the Sahelian scrub of the far eastern border with Niger.

Behind the 2015 Tuareg peace deal

  • Northern Tuareg communities have complained of being marginalised since independence in 1960
  • Islamist militants usurped a Tuareg separatist rebellion in 2012 seizing several cities
  • The territory was regained in 2013 with military help from France - and two years later a deal was signed promising development and decentralisation for northern Mali
  • But not all separatist fighters have been demobilised as agreed and there have been delays in devolving power and opening the purse strings
  • This has allowed insecurity and jihadists groups to flourish

And although a few of the commanders - such as the Western Saharan Abu Walid al-Sahrawi of ISGS - are outsiders, many are Malians.

UN calls on new Mali government to implement peace agreement

  UN calls on new Mali government to implement peace agreement UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres this week called on Mali's transitional government to maintain a 2015 peace agreement deemed critical for the country's stability. I call on the transitional authorities to take ownership of the agreement," Guterres added.The appeal came in a report submitted to the Security Council.

These include Amadou Koufa, the preacher who heads the Macina Liberation Front recruiting mainly among Peul livestock herders, or the onetime Tuareg separatist Iyad Ag Ghaly, who leads Ansar Dine and a wider coalition of militant groups, Jama'a Nusrat ul-Islam wa al-Muslimin (JNIM).

Moreover, the militants increasingly tap into local community grievances, over access to grazing or government funding, for example, or anger at abuses by heavy-handed soldiers.

Crucial international aid

Force alone will not resolve the problem.

Development and better governance matter, particularly in areas where a threadbare state has ceased to provide even the most basic public service functions.

a herd of cattle walking across a beach next to a body of water: The junta wants to maintain co-operation with international forces © AFP The junta wants to maintain co-operation with international forces

Of course, security still has to be part of the picture, because without it essential services such as justice, education or community health cannot be delivered by officials safe from intimidation or worse.

But real progress does require legitimate and internationally recognised political leadership and a viable peace process that retains the buy-in of the 2015 peace treaty signatories.

And that is why the protracted negotiations in Bamako and the bargaining over a transition settlement that Ecowas will support - thus freeing Mali from sanctions and opening the door to restored international aid - remain so crucial.

For all that the CNSP junta wants to maintain military co-operation with international forces, security without a political deal would probably be unachievable.

Mali junta chief's govt role softened after regional pressure .
Mali's military junta has abandoned a contentious measure that would have enabled its leader to potentially replace the interim civilian leader of the Sahel state, according to an official document released Thursday. Under an early roadmap for restoring civilian rule after the August 18 coup, seen by AFP, junta head Colonel Assimi Goita was empowered to replace the president of the interim government if the latter were incapacitated. Goita is vice president of an interim government that is due to govern Mali for 18 months before staging elections; former colonel Bah Ndaw is its president. require(["inlineoutstreamAd", "c.

usr: 3
This is interesting!