Gunmen kill 21 civilians in central Mali

Gunmen kill 21 civilians in central Mali

An attack on a village in central Mali saw the killing of 21 people by gunmen on August 18. 

A country with a large presence of extremist insurgencies with strong links to terrorist organisations such as Al-Qaeda and ISIS, the armed extremists struck the Malian village of Yarou as anonymous sources say that 21 civilians died and 11 were wounded, reports Reuters, August 19. 

There is no information yet regarding who was responsible for the August 18 casualties in the country’s Mopti region. 

Countries like Mali and Niger have seen an increase in violent insurgencies linked to extremist organisations. Mali is tussling against them as these groups have seized control in parts of the country. This has particularly been the case since a rebellion in 2012 by Tuareg separatists. 

Terrorist activities in the Sahel region are watched very closely by the governments of Maghreb countries anxious that there is not spill over into their own territories or new flows of refugees crossing the borders.

The separatists waged a war against Mali’s government to attempt to gain independence for the Azawad (situated in the north of Mali) region. 

Neighbouring Niger, a victim of a military coup in late July of this year, has seen an increase in insurgencies over the past decade. 

Whilst ECOWAS nations have set out a plan to intervene militarily in the country due to the chaotic scenes that led to the ousting of the Nigerien President last month, Washington has stated that they have no current plans take part in this intervention as the presence of violent insurgencies as well as an invasion by the US could send the country into further turmoil. 

A US official confirmed the troops are restricted to the bases and the embassy as well as noting that all  the forces were already at their respective stations when the coup occurred. 

1,100 US troops are based in the West African country.  

Extremist groups have spread to the Sahel region, killing thousands of civilians and taking control of territory since 2012. 

Mali has seen two coups since 2020 as the country is in a crisis of its own. The Malians have become more pro-Russian ditching western allies in the process as the junta have asked the Wagner group for support. 



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