Bamako Mali Events
Mali is experiencing instability and conflict, and that does not bode well for the future of the country and its overlapping parts of Africa, Africa and the world.
Attacks by Islamist groups, including roadside bombs, have increased since an attack in July that killed six Burkina Faso peacekeepers. The armed group has claimed responsibility for many of those attacks, including killing many villagers in their attacks.
Soldiers from other African nations have also been deployed to Mali to support these efforts and will take a more active role in fighting and training Malian troops after France leaves Mali. Such support could effectively make MINUSMA a party to the conflict in Mali, losing the protection of peacekeepers to non-combatants. Moreover, the spread of jihadist war in the Sahel, particularly in Burkina Faso and Niger, means that the events in Bamako in the coming weeks will have implications for crucial issues for security in the Sahel. The Washington Post has written a great review of events that have taken place in and around Mali since 2012.
Bamako is not only the political centre of Mali, but also home to a number of cultural institutions, including the Malian National Museum and the National Gallery of Art. It is the site of one of the most important cultural events in the world and offers visitors an appreciation of the wealth of Malian artistic traditions.
Mali's national culture can best be defined as a series of projects developed with varying degrees of vigor and credibility by the governments that led Mali (formerly French Sudan) from the post-independence period of the 1960s to the present. French colonial architecture inspired by a much admired local Sudanese style, as shown in the Malian National Museum and National Art Gallery in Bamako and the National Museum in Gao.
In the 1920s Bamako became the capital of Mali's first independent state and the birthplace of the country's independence from France. Today, Mali is considered one of Africa's most stable democracies, and presidential elections are scheduled for April.
The deteriorating security situation in Mali, coupled with the rise of armed groups allegedly linked to Al Qaeda, has generated sustained diplomatic interest from outside Mali. ECOWAS has said it is mobilising regional forces and preparing for military intervention in Mali if negotiations with the junta's leadership fail. France has provided an update on Operation Serval, and the number of military operations against Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups has increased. A military operation against the terrorist group Al-Shabaab is underway in northern Mali following the arrest of its leader Abdoulaye Toure in June.
Italian and Canadian nationals were abducted in Burkina Faso in December 2018 but reportedly escaped and were found by UN peacekeepers. Other kidnappings and killings occurred, including the kidnapping and killing of two leaders in the northern city of Kidal in October 2018. The leaders were later found dead in a remote area in northern Mali after being kidnapped and the hostages were freed.
Algerian officials said the militants were an al-Qaida offshoot called Al-Mulathameen and were acting in retaliation for France's intervention in Mali. The group said the attack was in response to Algeria's decision to allow the transfer of weapons and ammunition to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) in Algeria.
The Malian army, backed by troops from former colonial power France, has managed to drive Islamists out of large parts of northern Mali, but they have expanded their control since the fall, raising fears that legions of Islamists could gather, train, and threaten large parts of Africa. French troops are fighting Islamist insurgents in the Sahel, Mali being one of them. France sees this as an attack on its interests, not only because it is its former colony, but also because it comes just weeks after the Paris incident. The former colonists reacted quickly to Tuesday's events: "Mali is our former French colony.
But most governments have discouraged travel to Mali, owing to the isolation and risk of terrorism, kidnappings, and violence.
Travellers should avoid the Tuareg festival "Sahara Nights," which takes place in northern Mali, because of the high risk of kidnapping.
While the risk of kidnapping is greatest in northern Mali, there is also a risk of kidnapping in all areas of Mali, including those in the south of Mali where the FCDO advises against essential travel. AQ M could also try to attack and kidnap travellers in southern Mali near the capital Bamako and Segou. Attacks are increasing, security officials have been killed in Mali, Niger and Mauritania, and local officials in Burkina Faso, Chad, Niger, Senegal, Burkinasia, Mali's northern neighbor, have also been targeted. The AQM also regularly attacks the local governments of Mali and Mali; in addition to the recent attacks on the security forces of the two countries, it has also targeted the national police, the National Security Council and the Ministry of the Interior.