On September 5th, two French soldiers were killed in a military operation in Mali’s northeastern Kidal region, the Élysée Palace announced.
An armed vehicle was hit by an improved explosive device (IED), as a result of which two soldiers died and one was injured.
[#CEMA] "Je m'incline devant la mémoire du 1CL Arnaud VOLPE et du BC1 S. T. dont j'apprends avec émotion la mort au combat, ce jour, au Mali. J'apporte tout mon soutien à leur famille, à leur camarade blessé et leurs frères d'armes." Général Lecointre pic.twitter.com/CJSC2EUi3T
— État-Major Armées (@EtatMajorFR) September 5, 2020
French President Emmanuel Macron expresses his “deep respect” for the soldiers’ “sacrifice” and sends his “sincere condolences to their families and loved ones”, the presidential office said.
In its statement announcing the death of the two French soldiers, the president’s office reiterated France’s calls for a swift transition of power to civilian rule in Mali.
A month and a half earlier, on July 22nd, another French soldier, from the army’s First Parachute Hussar Regiment was killed in combat in Mali.
Earlier on September 5th, Mali’s military junta began talks with opposition groups to keep its promise to hand power back to civilians, after mounting pressure from neighbouring countries since the coup in August.
The Sahel is plagued with terrorists, who carry out frequent attacks in the countries in the region, so far, Mali appears to be the one suffering the most.
France started its military operations in the country in 2013, after Mali asked it to help regain territory seized by Islamist extremists who had hijacked a Touareg rebellion in the country’s northern desert regions the previous year.
The French military succeeded in this initial task – but the jihadist insurgency has since spread throughout Mali and across the border to Niger and Burkina Faso.
Currently, the French operation, together with the operations of the surrounding countries are having little to no effect in cleansing the area of terrorists, or stopping their continued attacks.
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- Military Junta In Mali Promises “Stability” As President Gives Up Power
- Military Coup Is Underway In Mali
- 6 French Humanitarian Workers Killed In Militant Attack In Niger