GSIM ‘steadily infiltrating’ Bamako suburbs

The Support Group for Islam and Muslims (GSIM) makes not secret of its intention to infiltrate and encircle the Malian…

The Support Group for Islam and Muslims (GSIM) makes not secret of its intention to infiltrate and encircle the Malian capital.GSIM on January 10 claimed responsibility for two raids on the gendarmerie checkpoints in Didieni and Sebekoro. 

The Sahelian jihadist coalition with close links to Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), claims to be steadily infiltrating the suburbs of Bamako.

 In these two localities located respectively in the regions of Kayes (west) and Koulikoro (centre), the Islamist insurgents claimed they had killed at least one gendarme, destroyed several vehicles and commandeered weapons.

 On January 2, the group attacked a checkpoint in Kassela, some 40km east of Bamako, killing an environment and forest protection officer. 

Following this, AQIM-affiliated jihadists launched an offensive against the Markacoungo civil protection aid outpost, killing at least three Malian fire brigades.

 In July, AQIM’s Sahelian affiliate, through its most active branch, the Macina Katiba, whose theatre of operation is mainly in central Mali, claimed a car bomb attack on the Soundiata Keita camp in Kati, less than 20 kilometres from Bamako.

 The attack was described as audacious by several observers because of the nature of the target, which was considered to be at the heart of power, symbolised by the military junta since May 2021. 

Through these attacks, the GSIM aims to “isolate” Bamako at a time when “the government claimed to have gained the upper hand” over the jihadist group.

 Following a falling out with Paris, Bamako has moved closer to Moscow and has since called in Russian “instructors,” considered by the West as mercenaries of the controversial paramilitary group Wagner. 

Irritated, the French authorities have accelerated the final departure of their troops under Operation Barkhane.

This was ten years after the French-driven Serval military intervention to drive the jihadists out of northern Malian towns and check their possible advance towards Bamako.


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