Keyword: Mali

Death of French soldier in Mali operations raises toll to 43

French officials have announced that Foreign Legion member Kévin Clement, 21, was killed in a firefight combat against armed groups in Mali’s Menaka region, bringing the total of fatalities among French forces engaged against jihadist forces in the north-west African country since 2013 to 43.

French Foreign Legion soldier fighting in Mali dies from IED injuries

Brigadier Dymyto Martynyouk was struck by an improvised explosive device during an 'operation against terrorist groups' on April 23, officials said.

Son of aid worker abducted in Mali says France has ‘proof of life’

Sébastien Chadaud-Pétronin said he was relieved to know his mother Sophie Pétronin, abducted in 2016, was alive, but said he felt there was no way to get her 'out of this hell'.

France makes small troop increase to anti-jihadist ops in Sahel

French President Emmanuel Macron has held a summit in Pau, south-west France, with leaders of five West African states engaged alongside France in fighting jihadist forces in the Sahel when he announced a further 220 French troops would be sent to the region to join their 4,500 colleagues already on the ground and the creation of a joint command structure with regional states.

France summons African leaders, threatening troop pullout

Facing hostility in five former colonies over a stalled fight against extremists, President Macron has taken a harsh public stance but few expect him to follow through.

French forces in Mali carry out country's first drone strike

France's military command has announced the first drone strike carried out by its forces, which ocurred during counter-jihadist operations in Mali at the weekend, just two days after testing had finished on the remotely-piloted Reapers for armed operations.

Macron announces 33 jihadists killed in Mali by French army

French President Emmanuel Macron, visiting Ivory Coast, said French troops killed 33 jihadists early Saturday in an operation in Mali's Mopti region, when one person was taken prisoner and two Malian gendarmes held hostage were freed.

Burkina Faso’s young Fula people caught between threat from jihadists and army

By François Hume et Olivia Macadré
Mohamed, originally from the north of Burkina Faso, wanted to join the army but changed his mind after his family disagreed. © OM Mohamed, originally from the north of Burkina Faso, wanted to join the army but changed his mind after his family disagreed. © OM

In a country beset with spiralling jihadist violence, young people from Burkina Faso’s Fula community are the ideal recruits for armed groups keen to capitalise on the discontent stemming from extreme poverty and the frequent abuses committed by government troops in this part of Africa. And as François Hume and Olivia Macadré report, if they reject the jihadists’ call to arms, they are widely seen as guilty by association.

France pays tribute to 13 soldiers killed in Mali

Members of the public joined with military personnel to pay homage in Paris on Monday to 13 French soldiers killed in Mali when their helicopters collided while on a night-time mission to track down Islamist fighters early last week. 

How France's narrow focus on a military solution in Mali has led to stalemate in region

By
A French soldier at Gao in Mali deep in reflection in front of the coffins of the 13 French troops killed in the country on November 25th 2019. © Reuters A French soldier at Gao in Mali deep in reflection in front of the coffins of the 13 French troops killed in the country on November 25th 2019. © Reuters

On Monday November 25th 13 members of the French military were killed when two helicopters crashed in Mali during France's ongoing military operations there. The grim news sparked debates back in France about the country's military involvement in the Sahel region of Africa. But as Mediapart's René Backmann writes, the legacy of France's colonial past and the remnants of its post-colonial approach to the continent known as 'Françafrique' suggest that President Emmanuel Macron's government will be unable to see that military combat against jihadism is not the only response that is needed to tackle the region's instability.

Why France is focused on fighting jihadists in Mali

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.

Thirteen French troops killed in helicopter crash in Mali

French president Emmanuel Macron expressed his 'deep sadness' over incident, which is believed to be biggest single loss of life for French military since the 1980s.

 

Thirteen French troops killed in helicopter crash in Mali

French president Emmanuel Macron expressed his 'deep sadness' over incident, which is believed to be biggest single loss of life for French military since the 1980s.

 

French soldier killed in Mali by roadside bomb

Corporal Ronan Pointeau died near Menaka in eastern Mali after his armoured vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb.

How Mali's wanted jihadists are escaping justice

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“Sharia Square”in Gao, seen here in February 2013, where the occupying jihadists in 2012 carried out amputations in public. © Reuters “Sharia Square”in Gao, seen here in February 2013, where the occupying jihadists in 2012 carried out amputations in public. © Reuters

Since France’s military intervention in Mali in 2013 put an end to an offensive by Islamic extremists occupying the north of the country, and despite the subsequent UN peacekeeping mission to help stabilize the former French colony, it remains blighted by insecurity. Amid the continuing tensions, the government stands accused of a strategy of clemency towards senior jihadists who led a reign of terror during their occupation of the north. The vast majority of them have been allowed to escape justice, while the few who were placed in jail have been discretely freed, apparently in prisoner exchange deals. Rémi Carayol reports.