28 April 2018

Mali: Suspected Jihadists Kill More Than 30

Photo: Sylvain Liechti/ UN
MINUSMA Camp Attacked in Kidal.

For the second time in two days, Tuareg groups have reported an attack near the Niger border. Large tracts of the country remain lawless despite a peace accord signed with ethnic Tuareg leaders.

More than 30 Tuareg people were killed by suspected jihadists near Mali's northeastern border with Niger, the AFP and EFE new agencies reported on Saturday, citing local sources.

The attack happened just a day after motorbike-riding gunmen killed 12 people near Anderamboukane, the former Tuareg rebel group MSA and tribal leaders said.

Read more: Malians want stability and security, former minister says

"There have been 43 deaths in two days, all civilians, from the same community," tribal leader Sidigui Ag Hamadi told AFP.

"Our fighters are destroying their bases and wiping them out. They are targeting innocent civilians," he said, adding that the attacks were likely reprisals for raids on jihadists by armed Tuareg groups.

There has been a resurgence of violence in the African nation in recent weeks. Earlier this month a UN base in Timbuktu was attacked by rocket fire and car bombs, killing one peacekeeper and wounding seven others.

Insecurity raging

A UN report last month

warned that insecurity in Mali "continues to rage," with the conflict spilling into neighboring countries.

It noted that an armed pro-government coalition and a rebel alliance, both of which signed the peace deal, are seeing "progressive decline of their influence in areas traditionally under their indirect or direct control."

The German government last month signaled its desire to bolster its Mali deployment and support France's counterterrorism operations in the greater Sahel region.

Read more: UN to expand sanctions blacklist in Mali amid growing violence

aw/rc (AFP, EFE)

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