Over the past two days, the Malian army has reported attacks on three of its military posts in different regions of the country. These attacks have been claimed by both separatist groups and jihadists affiliated with the al-Qaeda-linked Groupe de soutien à l’islam et aux musulmans (GSIM), each asserting temporary control over two of the posts.
One of the attacks targeted the army’s camp at Dioura, located in the central Mopti region, and occurred in the form of a suicide attack. The Malian army described it as a “terrorist” act but provided no further details. The Coordination des mouvements de l’Azawad (CMA), an alliance primarily composed of Tuareg separatist armed groups, claimed responsibility for taking control of the Dioura camp. This marks a significant southern operation for the CMA since hostilities resumed against the Malian army in the northern region in late August.
In another incident, the army announced that it had thwarted attempted attacks on its Mourdiah stronghold in the west. It reported casualties among the attackers but did not offer additional information.
On the same day, the Malian army repelled a major attack on its positions in Acharane, located in the Timbuktu region in the north. Again, no further details were provided regarding this engagement.
The GSIM claimed responsibility for an attack on Malian soldiers and their allies, allegedly from the Russian paramilitary group Wagner, in Acharane. The GSIM stated that the operation commenced with a suicide attack, leading to the death of the attacker. Subsequently, an assault with heavy and light weaponry took place. The GSIM claimed to have inflicted numerous casualties, captured one soldier, seized control of the post, set it on fire, and appropriated six vehicles along with a substantial quantity of arms and ammunition.
It is challenging to independently verify information from these remote areas due to restricted access to independent sources amidst ongoing hostilities and military rule.
Since late August, northern Mali has experienced an escalation in hostilities by the CMA and intensified jihadist attacks against the Malian army. This surge in violence coincides with the withdrawal of the UN mission, which has been compelled to leave by the junta in power since 2020.
Simultaneously, central Mali continues to witness persistent violence, and jihadist expansion persists in the north and east. The junta, which has steered the country politically and militarily toward Russia, has expressed its intent to regain sovereignty over the entire territory. However, numerous experts assert that the security situation in Mali has deteriorated, contrary to the junta’s claims, amidst the turmoil that has gripped the country since 2012.
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Summary: Mali has witnessed attacks on three of its military posts in different regions over the past two days, with both separatist groups and jihadist affiliates claiming responsibility. These incidents raise concerns about the security situation in the country, which has seen escalating hostilities and challenges to sovereignty. The ongoing withdrawal of the UN mission and the junta’s political and military orientation toward Russia further complicate the situation.
The situation in Mali remains fluid, with ongoing violence, insurgency, and complex political dynamics further complicating the path to stability in the region.