Mali soldiers on despite growing isolation
21 May 2022 | 5:06 am
An alleged coup attempt in the West African nation sheds light on the tensions facing the interim government of Colonel Assimi Goita. Yet, despite sanctions and isolation, Malians still back the military.
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Mali's relations with the West have deteriorated sharply since a 2020 military coup in the country. The junta has rallied behind Russia and brought in the paramilitary Wagner Group to meet its security needs.
Islamist militant group Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan has claimed responsibility for killing an army officer in an area close to the Afghan border.
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A one-day summit by West African leaders from Nigeria, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal and the Niger Republic ended in a stalemate after the leaders met with Mali’s President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and Muslim Cleric Mahmoud Dicko.
Neighboring Burkina Faso and Mali, which are also both run by military juntas, strongly rebuked regional bloc ECOWAS for weighing the option of using force to reinstate deposed President Mohamed Bazoum.
Jose Adolfo "Fito" Macias was transferred to a high-security prison in a heavy military and police operation. Slained presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio had complained of receiving death threats from Macias.
Mali's junta demanded in June that the MINUSMA force withdraw from the West African country after a decade-long deployment. The mission was created to quell separatist and Islamist insurgencies in northern Mali.
The Nigerian Army has buried not fewer than 22 officers and soldiers who were killed in action by terrorists in Niger State a few weeks ago. The military had last week revealed that 36 personnel were slain during an ambush by the terrorists at Zungeru-Tegina road and the subsequent jet crash that happened in Chukuba area of Shiroro, all in Niger State.
The pact allows Mali and Burkina Faso to provide military assistance to Niger in the event of military intervention against the putschists there.
Twenty-two soldiers of the Nigerian Army killed in an ambush by bandits in Niger state have been buried.
No details have yet been given by Malian authorities on any casualties from the attack. It's the latest violence in the West African country after two assaults by suspected jihadis killed dozens a day prior.
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