Malian army retreat of its isolated positions after jihadist attacks
Bamako, Mali- The Malian army has announced it will retreat from its isolated positions exposed to jihadist attacks near the border of Niger and Burkina Faso to regroup on stronger squares after two very deadly assaults .
This decision has already been applied to three positions (Anderaboukane and Indelimane, folded on Menaka, and Labbezanga, on Ansongo) and others will follow, said the army in the night from Saturday to Sunday on its website.
Indelimane, in the east of the country, suffered an attack on 1 November that killed 49 soldiers, according to the authorities. A month earlier, at least 40 men were killed in a double assault on military positions in Boulkessy and Mondoro, near the Burkina border. These are the heaviest losses suffered by the Malian army for several years.
The deterioration of the security situation in the country and the severity of the setbacks have reinforced questions about the ability of the Malian army to deal with jihadist acts and other violence that Mali has been suffering since 2012 and who have made thousands of dead, civilians and combatants.
The circumstances of the Indelimane and Boulkessy attacks have never been made public. But the unconfirmed reports that the army was unprepared for these offensives and the inability to quickly dispatch reinforcements on site had raised questions about tactics.
Following Indelimane, Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta said he had ordered the army to develop a “new operational concept”.
“In a bid to reconsider our operational stance on the ground, the isolated units will be grouped into support points and resistance centers,” the army said on the internet.
“This decision is part of the implementation of a new concept of operation that aims to better adapt the strategy to the threat of terrorists and other drug traffickers,” she said.
The first information on this retreat has begun to circulate on social networks in recent days, raising expressions of concern for the protection of civilian populations and borders.
“There is no question of abandoning the population,” assured the army.