GAO, Mali Malian soldiers staged their to start with joint patrol on Thursday with users of rival armed groups in the city of Gao exactly where Islamist militants killed more than 77 men and women last month in the deadliest these kinds of attack in the country’s record.
The lengthy-awaited patrol is element of an initiative aimed at easing regional tensions so that govt forces can emphasis on preventing the militants. Extra these kinds of patrols are thanks above the up coming few months beneath the conditions of a 2015 U.N.-brokered peace offer.
Hundreds of soldiers from Mali’s army, France’s operation Barkhane, the U.N. peacekeeping mission, the Tuareg separatist Coordination of Azawad Movements and pro-govt militias took element in the patrol, a Reuters witness said.
They moved by means of the city on foot and in pick-up vehicles, setting up at close to 9.45 a.m. regional time (0945 GMT) on a about seven-km (4-mile) route and satisfied no resistance, the witness said.
The Jan. eighteen attack in Gao claimed by al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb shows the issue faced by the govt and global peacekeepers in combating militant Islamist groups, some with back links to al Qaeda, based in the desert north.
Gao is a city of fifty,000 men and women on the financial institutions of the
Niger river, exactly where the offices of the thirteen,000-robust U.N. mission in Mali, MINUSMA, have been flattened by a truck bomb in December.
A French-led armed service intervention in 2013 pushed insurgent groups back again from northern Mali – a vast desert area they experienced taken the calendar year right before – but Islamist militants nevertheless carry out regular attacks there.
(Reporting by Souleymane Ag Anara Crafting by Matthew Mpoke Bigg Modifying by Louise Ireland)