Malian military initiates anti-jihadist operation in restless territories

Prime Minister Soumeylou Boubeye Maiga

PARIS, France–The newly installed Malian government under a new prime minister is set to deploy a huge military patrol in critical operation area to fight jihadists in the country’s fidgety center, according to documents unveiled by the administration.

The new government expresses serious concern over extreme instability in the area and is seeking to act swiftly.

Prime Minister Soumeylou Boubeye Maiga, newly-appointed by President Boubacar Keita, said last weekend that “urgent measures” were required to address Al-Qaeda-linked groups who control territory in the area.

According to authorities at the defense ministry and the documents provided, the deployment of an estimated 1,000 soldiers is aimed at “assuring the security of people and goods as well as fighting the jihadists.”

The security plan will include foot and motorbike patrols in the community, copying the modus operandi of jihadist networks in the area, according to a document outlining the measures.

A defense ministry official spoke on condition of anonymity said, a “mobile government” in the area would provide basic services to populations excluded from access by living in at-risk areas.  Adding, those services will be in areas such as the education sector.

Reliable sources say foreign forces operating in the country could possibly be included in the ongoing effort, though the French troops, soldiers from the G5 Sahel nations, and the United Nations mission stationed and operating in Mali have not independently confirmed if they are a part of the process.

Globe Afrique has discovered that the present United Nations mission is the world’s most dangerous active peacekeeping and peace enforcement deployment.  Since its launch, more than 140 peacekeepers have been killed.

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Michael Harrington

Michael Harrington is a researcher and senior contributing reporter with Globe Afrique Media.
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