Canada Mali: operation “Ménaka without weapons”, a first assessment

12:55  31 october  2020
12:55  31 october  2020 Source:   rfi.fr

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Vols de motos, pillages de boutiques, assassinats crapuleux… : les actes de banditisme sont quasi quotidiens à Ménaka © RFI / David Baché Motorcycle thefts, looting of shops, villainous assassinations ...: acts of banditry are almost daily in Ménaka

In Mali, this initiative in the town and region of Ménaka, in the north of the country. An operation carried out jointly by the Malian army and the armed groups signatories to the peace agreement, dubbed "Menaka without weapons", was initiated a little over a month ago. This operation aims to reduce terrorist attacks but also acts of banditry, frequent in the area.

The Menaka region is a field of action for al-Qaeda terrorists in the Islamic Maghreb and especially of the Islamic State group in the Greater Sahara.

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Make Central Mali Secure: Military Operations , Political Dialogue and Self-defence Groups. The Malian crisis in 2012 further destabilised the region. It accelerated weapons proliferation and allowed jihadists to gain Patrols that are part of local security provisions in Ménaka , a northern Malian town

Mali (/ˈmɑːli/ (listen); French pronunciation: [ mali ]), officially the Republic of Mali (French: République du Mali ; Bambara: Mali ka Fasojamana; N'Ko script: ߡߊߟߌ ߞߊ ߝߊߛߏߖߊߡߊߣߊ)

As for the road which connects the town of Ménaka to Ansongo on one side, and to the Niger border on the other, it is the scene of almost daily acts of banditry. Businesses attacked, livestock stolen, the people of Ménaka have complained for many years about insecurity.

As part of the actions initiated by the governor of the region, the “Menaka without weapons” operation has united the Malian army and the armed groups that signed the 2015 peace agreement for just over a month.

"The interior of the town of Ménaka is first entrusted to the Malian security forces," explains Moussa Ag Acharatoumane, who heads one of these groups, the MSA, joined by David Baché of the Africa service of RFI. They patrol, day and night, in collaboration with the Barkhane force and the Minusma. As for us, the armed movements: first we the Platform, we finished a belt outside the town of Ménaka so that there is no road leading to Ménaka that we do not control not. Later, our brothers from the CMA joined us ”. In short, “inside the city, it is the Malian armed forces and their partners. And outside the city, it is the signatory armed movements that control it. "

Since the end of September, around ten arrests have been made. The initiators of this operation ask the new transitional authorities to support their action in order to make it sustainable.

See also : In Mali, the CMA and the Platform sign an agreement on securing Ménaka

Also listen: Mali / Menaka [Series 1/4]: insecurity and economy

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