La Croix: French mired in Mali, the UN is powerless

La Croix: Франция увязла в Мали, ООН бессильна

What does France have in Mali?11 January 2013 the French army has been fighting with jihadist groups operating in this great country of the Sahel. July 31, 2014, it expanded the field of activities in the Sahara-Sahel belt (operation “Dune”) from Mauritania to Chad. Whatever it was in the centre of her attention is still Mali, first and foremost, the North of the country. She has there is a constant point of support in Gao and five temporary bases: Timbuktu, Kidal, Tessalit, Menaka and Gossi.In 2017 the efforts of France are concentrated in the area of the “three borders” Liptako the Gourma, where it conducts operations against the jihadists. In addition, it supports the Malian forces, who returned in 2017 in the region of Ménaka. From 2019 “Dune” expanded the field of activities of the Gourmet-driven Outpost in Gossi. “Seven years after the beginning of operation “Serval” France delivered two of the tasks failed. First, it was unable to restore the sovereignty of Mali in the North. Second, the jihadist threat was not only defeated, but spread to the center of the country and other States in the region, in particular Burkina Faso,” notes Marc-Antoine de Moncloa (Marc-Antoine de Monclos), the author of the book “the Lost war. France in the Sahel”, due out January 13, 2020.Today, 40% of attacks of the jihadists fall on the center of Mali around Mopti and Segou. In the French army stronger doubts about the possibility to correct the security situation in the region. “We strike, but long ago lost the war because of the corruption of the Malian elite,” said La Croix is a former head of operations “Dune”.In June the chief of staff General françois Lecointre (François Lecointre) acknowledged that “we were too optimistic, when considered in 2013 that will all be solved and a quick victory over the jihadists will immediately translate into political success.” According to him, “today there are all conditions for the further destabilization of the area.”Who is fighting against France?Against her stands a cluster of armed groups, which can be sorted depending on their links with international jihadism. On the one hand, there are allies of ISIS (a terrorist organization banned in Russia — approx.ed.), such as “the great Islamic state of the Sahara,” Adnan Abu Walid al-Sahrawi. This organization came in the year 2018 and expanded its field of activity to the North Mali, a zone Liptako the Gourma. It was the goal of the forces of “Dune” on November 25.Further, there are associated with “al-Qaeda” (the terrorist organization banned in Russia — approx.ed.) movement. First of all, it “support Group to Islam and Muslims” Malian Iliada of AG-Ghali, who is called the leader among all Islamist groups in the Sahel. His movement was formed in 2017, around the nucleus of militants of “al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb” and combines a large part of the groups that seized Northern Mali in 2012, but was then partially removed by operation “Serval”. In addition, the present, and new elements like “Katib Masina” preacher Amadou koufa: these militants operate mainly in the center of Mali.Finally, it should be noted formed in December 2016 the group “Ansarul Islam” Ibrahim Wildly. It mainly consists of the Fulani people, valid on the territory of Mali and Northern Burkina Faso.France acting alone?Since 2013, France is trying to involve the Malian army and regional and international powers in the struggle in the Sahel. It is possible to distinguish three levels of military intervention. First — local. This is the Malian army. Whatever it was, its operational capabilities leave much to be desired. Ineffective command, poor training and equipment, corruption is rampant. “It is corrupt, the patch issue is not always allocated money is used in inappropriate way. Moreover, her account is abused,” explains Marc-Antoine de Moncloa.Such cases were documented by human rights NGOs like the International Federation for human rights and Human Rights Watch or even the UN. The Malian army is suffering heavy losses, about the same as in 2012. This happens even when she’s holed up in fortified bases. Take the results of the attack on the camp Endelman Nov 1: 49 of the victims. A month earlier, the 40 soldiers were killed in a double attack on the camp Bulkes and post Mondoro near the border with Burkina Faso.Together with the Malian army France had formed (she claims that it is about the initiative of these countries) regional power G5 Sahel, with the participation of Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso and Chad. Whatever it was, funding was lower than expected. But the efficacy of these forces is poor.To this is added the architecture of the UN mission for stabilization of Mali, whose forces numbered 16,000 (206 of them were already killed). “Let’s be honest: we give the area under the onslaught of aggression and terrorism,” acknowledged the UN Secretary-General antónio Guterres on September 25 at the General Assembly of the organization.Finally, the European Union has been mainly launched in 2013 a programme of training the Malian army. Nevertheless, even here the results are not encouraging: those who lose Bolgesi soldiers belong to the EU prepared the battalion. The European Union is paralyzed by disagreements about future actions in the Sahel. Some countries (mainly North and East) are against interventionism, while others (mainly powers with a colonial past in Africa) support moderate interference. Support from the latter is limited to training military and logistics (air transport). No direct operations.As the Malian public is against France?A time when the French were seen as liberators, apparently, in the past. Their presence causes more discontent. First of all, in Bamako. Demonstrations in support of the Malian army turn into public criticism of the role of France in crisis, as it was in the period of falling North of the country in 2012. “Go, France!”, “France is a terrorist state!” — such inscriptions were visible on the banners of demonstrators on 15 November 2019 at the Independence square. Some of them even burned the French flag. This movement spread to other cities of the country, as evidenced by the recent protests in Sévaré and Kidal, the centre of anti-French movement in the North of Mali.In such circumstances, the President of Mali Ibrahim Boubacar Keita expressed 26 Nov solidarity with France after the death of 13 French military.

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