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Mali: ten years after the jihadist occupation, jubilation and hope seem far away in Gao


STORY - At the end of January 2013, the French army and its Malian partners were welcomed in triumph by the inhabitants of the city in northeastern Mali, which had remained under the control of the Islamists for nine months. That happy time is just a memory.

Of course there are memories when you have experienced such an event!


From Gao, Moussa, 45, vividly remembers the day when French and Malian soldiers launched the offensive on the occupied city.

It was January 26, 2013, ten years ago.

This city in northeastern Mali had been one of the bastions of Islamists for nine months with Timbuktu and Kidal.

Some had gotten used to the occupation.

Me, I was sure that one day the army would come to liberate us.

But when ?

No one knew, no one expected.

The jihadists were as surprised as we were,”

says Moussa.

Read alsoEnd of Operation Barkhane: “Goodbye, Bamako”

It was on the night of January 25 to 26 that the "

Battle of Gao

" began.

In a lightning offensive, the French forces seized the bridge crossing the Niger River, and took without a fight the international airport of Gao, seven kilometers from the center.

When the rumor of their arrival travels through the city, Moussa meets with young people from the city.

The most curious went to see…

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Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2023-01-27

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