French Troops in Mali

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Subscribe to our daily curated newsletter to receive the latest exclusive Politicoscope coverage delivered to your email inbox.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Subscribe to our daily curated newsletter to receive the latest of Politicoscope top politics stories delivered to your email inbox.

The French soldiers seeking out jihadists in central Mali’s Savannahs were prepared for the sandstorms, the thunderstorms, the lack of anything resembling a road and the need to tow vehicles whose wheels kept getting stuck in floodplains. They knew getting information out of terrified villagers would be difficult. But as the multi-week operation wore on in Gourma district, where 400 French troops and 100 allied Malians searched for 50-odd jihadists they estimated were hiding in the shadows, the obstacles kept piling up. First, there were the storms, forcing them to abandon supper, pack up their mosquito nets and sleep contorted in their vehicles. Then up at 3 a.m. for a mission that couldn’t start because the weather had grounded their helicopters at base. Then, flash floods turned sandy ground to sludge and burst the wadis so only their newly deployed tracked fighting vehicles could cross. When they reached the thatch-and-wood villages where they suspected jihadists were hiding. Men tended cows. Women pounded millet. Everyone smiled. And nobody told them anything. “We’re not going to resolve this in a day,” said David, the commander of the French forward base near the town of Gossi. French military rules permit publication only of his first name. “This is going to take some time.” Efforts led by France to stop a region on Europe’s doorstep becoming a launchpad for attacks at home are increasingly trapped in an endless cat-and-mouse game with well-armed jihadists, who know the terrain and hide easily among civilians. On a…

Here’s why you should get Politicoscope premium articles:
1a. Premium News: Get all year access to Politicoscope.com premium articles on any device.
1b. Standard News: Get basic access to Politicoscope.com standard articles on any device.
2a. Premium News: Enjoy unlimited content with less on-site advertising.
2b. Standard News: Get basic articles with more on-site advertising.

*Best of All: Cancel anytime with Premium Membership. Limited time offers.
Log In Sign Up

Thank you for visiting Politicoscope.com. Was this information helpful?
+ Share it with friends or Leave your comment below.
+ Subscribe for content like this and more.
+ Submit news, tips, or recipes.
You May Also Like:   Jacques Chirac Passes Away

Donate

Donate now to help us provide more story like this.



More Donation Options

* Here are other Donation options for you.

* For Premium News readers, you can register here today.

Comments are closed, but trackbacks and pingbacks are open.