- Tuesday 21st July 2015; Mali forces arrests at least 15 militants and destroy their operational camps in a raid near southern border with Ivory Coast.
- The militants were arrested from their sanctuary in the region of Sikasso.
- Another militant camp raid conducted near the frontier town of Fakola, the Mali army managed to seize arms, explosives and motorbikes from the militant’s camp and subsequently destroyed their camp.
- Last week, Malian troops killed several militants in Sikasso, and destroyed their operations camp in a nearby forest.
- Ansar Dine and Tuareg rebels responsible for a series of attacks that happens in Mali, destabilizing the country’s peace and that of her neighboring country, Ivory Coast.
- Recently, in a separate event French forces killed a top commander with al Qaeda branch in Mali
Militants in Mali commonly conduct their attacks in areas close to desert. In the northern region of Mali has a vast desert cover from where the militants focus with their activities.
Mali has been the scene of violence since Tuareg rebels took control of northern Mali, which they call Azawad, in January 2012.
The West African country slid further into chaos after President Amadou Toumani Toure was toppled in a military coup in March 2012. The coup leaders allege the move was in response to the government’s inability to contain a rebellion by Tuareg people.
Ansar Dine has ties to northern separatist groups through its Tuareg renegade commander, Iyad Ag Ghali.
Ansar Dine is an Islamist group in Mali responsible in orchestrating multiple attacks.
The Islamist militants have intensified operations this year, attacking parts of the country’s west and south previously seen as secure and raising regional fears of a spillover into violence.
Mali forces counting on the boost from UN Security Council that renewed its 11 000-strong Mali peacekeeping operation, MINUSMA, for a year in June in a bid to stabilize the West African country and liberate the country from terror posed by Tuareg rebels and the Islamist Ansar Dine.