Naked Opinion Top Trending

After The Terrorist Attack In Mali, We Need To Ramp Up Security In The Region

Mali

The terrorist attack in Mali has been claimed by both an Al-Qaida affiliate and a regional jihadist militant group Al-Mourabitoun. Mark Chamoun looks at the security problems in the region.

The capital of Mali has been the subject of a terrorist attack in its capital of Bamako. The attack happened at a resort popular with foreigners when extremists stormed the facilities and began shooting at guests. The attackers managed to kill a Portuguese soldier serving the EU mission, a Malian soldier, and three civilians from Chinese, Malian, and French-Gabonese backgrounds respectively. The resort was reportedly safe enough for EU mission soldiers to use and the question of how the assailants managed to enter the facilities and resist arrest is still to be answered. Initially, one attacker came on a motorcycle shouting the takbir before the others entered in a vehicle and began opening fire. The assault comes a day after the death of 5 soldiers in northern Mali following an incursion at their army post. The attack itself has been claimed by both an Al-Qaida affiliate and a regional jihadist militant group by the name Al-Mourabitoun.  Both groups having perpetrated attacks in the country in the past.

The resort was reportedly safe enough for EU mission soldiers to use and the question of how the assailants managed to enter the facilities and resist arrest is still to be answered. Initially, one attacker came on a motorcycle shouting the takbir before the others entered in a vehicle and began opening fire. The assault comes a day after the death of 5 soldiers in northern Mali following an incursion at their army post.

The attack itself has been claimed by both an Al-Qaida affiliate and a regional jihadist militant group by the name Al-Mourabitoun.  Both groups having perpetrated attacks in the country in the past.

Jihadists in Mali

The country of Mali has had a history of terrorist attacks in the recent past. Just in 2015 did several men take hold of a hotel in the country’s capital and kill 20 people, Malians and foreigners alike. In addition to the killings, many were also taken hostage; including some American, Algerian, Russian, Moroccan, Turkish and French citizens.

After the initial attack, UN peacekeepers came to aid local Malian Armed Forces in reinforcing the facility and assisting in evacuating and protecting those civilians still in the hotel. That attack like this recent one was also jointly claimed by the Al-Qaeda affiliate and the militant group Al-Mourabitoun. These two groups have a history of attacking sites in Mali, many of these locations frequented by foreigners which are among the main targets of the group.

Al-Mourabitoun indeed was founded with the intent of ending perceived injustice and imperialism in France’s involvement in the region; mostly through means of terrorism. The organization itself was initiated in an effort to unite jihadist groups and establish sharia law in the wider region. Al-Mourabiton which fell out of favor with Al-Qaida leaders has had a strong presence in Mali ever since its initial coming together; responsible for many of the kidnappings, hostage takings, and terrorist attacks in the country. With that said the 2015 attack actually served to increase relations between Al-Mourabiton and Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb; as seen with their cooperation in this recent attack.

What about peacekeeping

The recent attack in Mali has spurred calls to countries persuading deeper engagement in peacekeeping in the region. Canada has been one of those countries requested to join peacekeeping efforts by both the European Union and the United Nations.

The situation in Mali and the current involvement of entities such as the European Union make the situation even more difficult to step away from; as many of the issues facing the country are directly related to European efforts to oust previously dominant Islamic Militants in its northern region.

Europe, therefore, has a stake in the protection of Mali and it is likely that more efforts to stabilize the country will come. The threat of Islamist-inspired attacks in the region is a significant one. For the country of Mali to rid itself of Jihadi attacks it must be aided by countries that have already engaged themselves in the region. With wider joint efforts between European and North American countries, and an increased towards happenings in the region; the threat of Islamist terrorism can indeed be minimalized.

 

Read also: The Popularity Of Hezbollah Is On The Rise In The Middle East

 

 

 

Library

Subscribe to the Newsletter