Canada Mali: the question of dialogue with the jihadists continues to arise in Farabougou

23:00  26 october  2020
23:00  26 october  2020 Source:   rfi.fr

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Malian troops had been unable to reach the village by land because heavy rains made the roads impassable. The air force had evacuated wounded civilians to "But the access roads to Farabougou are still blocked, the jihadists are still around, in the forests or hidden on either side of the roads."

Image satellite du village de Farabougou, dans le centre du Mali. © Google Map Satellite image of the village of Farabougou, in central Mali.

In Mali, the situation is calm in Farabougou, a village in the center of the country, in the Ségou region, where Malian special forces entered at the end of last week after more than two weeks of jihadist blockade. On the spot, local notables had undertaken a mediation with the jihadists who surrounded the village and who are still present in the surroundings. This mediation was brought to a halt with the arrival of Malian forces, but the mediators are nevertheless continuing their efforts.

Direct contacts between the mediation team and the jihadist fighters have been suspended since the Malian soldiers gained a foothold in Farabougou. However, local elected officials, traditional leaders and community and religious leaders in the area remain mobilized to obtain a final and peaceful settlement of the situation.

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Jihadist groups have regrouped in the neglected hinterlands of Sahel countries and are launching attacks from them. To regain control of outlying districts, regional states must do far more to extend services and representation beyond recently recaptured provincial centres.

During the weekend, assemblies took place between these actors, from various localities in the area, who decided on new proposals. In essence, according to several sources in this mediation, it is about lifting the blockade imposed by the jihadists. Despite the presence of Malian forces, the inhabitants of Farabougou still do not dare to leave the village.

It is also a question of obtaining the restitution of the stolen heads of cattle, in exchange for a commitment of the traditional dozo hunters of Farabougou not to take up arms.

Encourage discussions

These proposals must now be transmitted to the jihadists, which is proving complicated due to the presence of Malian forces in the area who are obviously wary of them. But the vice-president of the Transition, Colonel Assimi Goita, who personally visited Farabougou at the end of last week, where he met religious and customary leaders, explained that he wanted to encourage discussions in order to find "a lasting solution to this crisis ”described as“ intercommunity ”, the Malian army taking charge of the“ terrorist threat ”.

Over the weekend, the military did not report any punching action. The soldiers continue to protect Farabougou with, henceforth, the “logistical support” of Minusma, the United Nations Mission in the country, which has contributed to the transport of troops.

► To read also: The Malian army has entered Farabougou

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