NGOs accuse the Malian and Nigerien armies of conducting reprisals against the Peul community, who they hold responsible, often wrongly, for ‘terrorist acts’.
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The position of the Malian president, IBK, looks increasingly precarious as opposition leaders step up their campaign against him.
Read more on RFI
The Associated Press on the Washington Post website discusses the recent U.N. Security Council’s strongly condemnation of increasing levels of terrorism on the African continent. A Chinese-sponsored presidential statement approved by the 15 members urged the 193 UN member states to take measures to address drivers of violent extremism conducive to terrorism and to consider mobilising more predictable resources and expertise. Recommendations included fostering quality education and provision employment opportunities and vocational training for young people and inclusion them in all levels of decision-making to combat recruitment.
The African Union’s U.N. ambassador, Fatima Kyari Mohammed warned about the increasing level of sophistication and use of “drone terrorism”. A statement from Tunisia, Niger and South Africa mentioned that “foreigners who fought with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria are increasingly relocating into the continent mainly to areas where government presence is weak”. Additionally, the statement argued that some al-Qaida and IS groups “appear to be working together and coordinating attacks to grab large swaths of territory.”
The statements reiterated the need to support for the G5 Sahel Force established by Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Chad and Mauritania to fight terrorism.
However, according to Reuters, Al Qaeda-linked militants have said they will only attend peace talks with Mali’s government if it expels French and United Nations forces.
The Malian government, which has been proposing talks in recent weeks to try and end an insurgency that has spread violence across the West African state and its neighbours, has also repeatedly said they want French forces to stay, and France has promised to boost its military presence in the Sahel region. The violence is increasing, despite more than 11,000 U.N. peacekeepers in Mali and around 5,000 French troops across the region
Sorina Toltica, South Coast DTP PhD researcher