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Mali wants to cooperate more with Burkina to "overcome terrorist groups"


Visiting Ouagadougou, the Malian Defense Minister reaffirmed his country's willingness to pool resources with its neighbor to eradicate the threat.

Burkinabe soldiers near Ouagadougou, April 2018. ISSOUF SANOGO / AFP

Mali wants to strengthen its military cooperation with Burkina Faso to "defeat terrorist groups", after the jihadist attack the most deadly ever conducted against the Burkinabe army, said the Malian Minister of Defense visiting Monday, August 26 in Ouagadougou. "The government of Mali stands in solidarity with the brotherly people of Burkina Faso, who was the victim of a cowardly and cowardly attack that caused the loss of many of our comrades in arms," said General Ibrahima Dembélé. an audience with the Burkinabe Prime Minister Christophe Dabiré.

He presented the condolences of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and the government of Mali to the government and people of Burkina Faso after the attack that killed twenty-four people in the ranks of the army of the neighboring country on August 19th. Seven soldiers were also wounded in the assault on a military detachment in Koutougou, in the north of the country.

Read also In Burkina Faso, the army does not face the jihadist danger

General Dembélé "reaffirmed in Burkina Faso the support and commitment of Mali by his side to meet the challenge we all face . Currently, we have a field operation at the border that we are evaluating with my counterpart [Burkina Faso] . We will work together and see how to improve this operation and strengthen our capabilities, pool our resources to overcome terrorist groups , " said the Malian Minister.

More than 500 dead since early 2015

On Thursday, Burkinabé President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré ordered a three-day national mourning in honor of the victims of the Koutougou attack in the Soum province, bordering Mali, the deadliest ever perpetrated by jihadist groups against forces defense and security of Burkina Faso.

This West African country has been caught in a spiral of violence for four and a half years, attributed to a dozen groups, some affiliated with al-Qaida and others affiliated with the Islamic State group. Since early 2015, jihadist attacks, more and more frequent and deadly, especially in the north and east, have killed more than 500 people, according to an AFP count.

Read also In Burkina Faso, the state of emergency has been extended by six months

Burkinabé forces, lacking resources, seem unable to stop the attacks and the jihadists extend their influence over larger and larger areas. They would have several hundred militants armed in the country, had confided in May a French military source to AFP.

Five Sahel states (Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso and Chad) have formed a multinational military force, the G5 Sahel, to fight against the many Islamist groups that are raging in the region, but this force is struggling to gain momentum.

Source: lemonde

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