Five Dead Following Militant Attack on Mourdiah Military Post, Mali

 

A Macina Liberation Front (MLF) attack on a Malian Army (FAMA) post in the southwestern village of Mourdiah has left five soldiers dead and a ‘significant number’ of terrorists neutralized.

What You Need to Know:

According to a statement from the General Staff of the Malian Armed Forces, at approximately 5:40 a.m. on Sunday, May 26th, the Macina Liberation Front militants “carried out an attack with the use of two kamikaze vehicles and shelling against the FAMA post of Mourdiah, Nara region.”

While the total number of militants killed has not been released, the statement alludes to the death of a ‘significant number’, as well as claiming dozens more militants were injured in the attack.

Additionally, eleven PKM machine guns, various rockets, nine motorcycles, three radios, and a significant amount of ammunition were recovered.

“On the FAMA side, we unfortunately regret five deaths, dozens of injured, and vehicles hit by bullets and fragments of shells and kamikaze vehicles. The General Staff of the Armed Forces presents its condolences to the families of the brothers-in-arms who fell on the field of honor and wishes a speedy recovery to the injured,” the statement concluded.

The Details:

The Macina Liberation Front, also referred to as Katiba Macina, is an Islamic militant group with ties to al-Qaeda that operates in Mali and the wider Sahel, particularly Niger and Burkina Faso. Since 2017, the MLF has formed part of the Group for the Support of Islam and Muslims (Jama‘at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin) (JNIM), an umbrella group of al-Qaeda-linked militant groups operating in the Sahel. JNIM is currently headed by the Malian Tuareg rebel Iyad Ag Ghali.

Both the MLF and the JNIM seek to rid the Sahel of Western influence to establish an Islamic state in line with the ideology of al-Qaeda.

The MLF came to fruition in 2015 under the leadership of Amadou Diallo alias ‘Amadou Koufa’. Since then, and upon joining forces with JNIM in 2017, the groups have continued to conduct attacks against Malian civilians as well as the military. Koufa was specially designated as a global terrorist by the United States Department of State in November 2019, while JNIM was designated as a terrorist organization in September 2018.

According to the National Counterterrorism Center, “the MLF conducts attacks against civilian targets; symbols of the Malian state including religious sites, schools, and government buildings; and Malian security and defense forces. The group also targets French troops and UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA). Fighters employ small arms, machine guns, landmines, mortars, and IEDs for attacks. The MLF uses targeted assassinations and kidnappings for ransom of local authorities to reduce resistance and to finance group activities.”

So, What Now?:

The Malian junta, as well as the juntas of Niger and Burkina Faso, have continuously struggled to make gains against Islamic insurgents. The exit of France from the region has exacerbated the security crisis, with the three nations announcing in early March their intent to create a joint counterterrorism force to combat the region’s spiraling security environment. However, the force is yet to become operational.

Bianca Bridger
Bianca Bridger
Bianca Bridger is a Political Science Graduate from the University of Otago, New Zealand. Currently working as an Editor for The ModernInsurgent and writing for Atlas News, her interests include conflict politics, history, yoga and meditation.

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