Middle East

When Mali calls on France to leave, militants kill dozens of civilians

At least 40 civilians were killed in the northern region of Mali after a clash between Daesh and al-Qaeda-related terrorist groups seeking greater influence in the region.

The overview shows the damage at the scene of the attack on the Dogon Sobaneda village in Mali on June 11, 2019. (Reuters Archive)

Daesh-linked terrorist groups have killed about 40 civilians this week caught up among militant groups fighting in the northern part of Mali’s conflict.

“At least 40 civilians have died in three different locations” in the Tesi region near the Burkina Faso-Niger border, civilian officials in the region told AFP on Friday.

The latest bloodshed in the Sahel nation, which has been trying to counter the militants since 2013, comes as France said it would withdraw its troops after a disagreement with the ruling junta.

Officials whose names have been hidden for security reasons said the death toll was tentative due to the sparse information and slow entry from remote and dangerous areas.

“These civilians were accused by one group of collusion with other groups,” officials said.

Two Teshi residents, based in the provincial capital Gao and the national capital Bamako, confirmed the magnitude of the violence to AFP after talking to witnesses who fled the slaughter.

A spokesman for a group of armed northern militias reported similar deaths.

Teshi is located in the “Three Borders” area, a hotspot for extreme violence.

The GSIM terrorist group, which belongs to Greater Sahara’s Daesh (EIGS) and Sahel’s largest alliance, Al Qaeda, is particularly active in the region.

Besides attacking local and foreign troops, they have been fighting each other for territory since 2020.

read more:
France’s withdrawal from Mali: regional security threats or opportunities?

Get involved in a rivalry

Teshi, a rural area of ​​the Gao region, has seen violence in recent weeks, with the hashtag #JeSuisTessit (I’m Teshi) appearing on social media.

It has been disconnected from the telephone network for several years, making communication difficult.

Three local sources, including a spokesman for the Northern Militia, said GSIM militias went to several villages near Tessit, including Keygourouten, Bakal, and Tadjalalt, between February 8 and 10.

Accused of supplying rival EIGS by local shopkeepers, GSIM militants not only stole ambulances, but also plundered health centers, pharmacies, water towers and stores.

GSIM militants also ordered the inhabitants to leave. Aid workers and residents of Tajarart said on condition of anonymity that 150 to 200 households fled to Niger and the surrounding towns.

Then, on Monday and Tuesday, EIGS militants arrived in the same village.

“They accused the man of being an accomplice to GSIM. They killed old and young people,” said Tesi region officials.

Thirty people were executed in Tajarart, officials said.

This is a common scenario, “when a (radical) group passes through a village, later groups accuse the inhabitants of being accomplices,” officials added.

Villagers who “cannot kill flies” are thus involved in the competition.

Mali’s ruling party, which seized power in a coup in 2020 after public anger that elected leaders could not stop bloodshed, has not yet spoken about Teshi’s violence.

Units deployed in the three border areas include the Armed Forces, French and European troops, and United Nations peacekeeping forces.

French President Emmanuel Macron announced on Thursday that he would withdraw his troops, which had been fighting militants in Mali since 2014.

read more:
Mali calls on France to withdraw its troops from its territory without delay

Source: AFP

https://www.trtworld.com/africa/militants-kill-dozens-of-civilians-as-mali-calls-on-france-to-leave-54902?utm_source=other&utm_medium=rss When Mali calls on France to leave, militants kill dozens of civilians

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