Mali: JNIM claims responsibility for attacks on the army in Niafunké and Goundam

In Mali, JNIM claimed responsibility for attacks on the army in Niafunké and Goundam, in the Timbuktu region. The al-Qaeda-linked Group for the Support of Islam and Muslims (JNIM) issued a statement on Saturday (November 25th) detailing the two operations carried out on Friday (November 24th) against two military camps of the Malian Armed Forces (FAMA) that left dozens of people dead. The Malian army says it eventually repelled the attackers.

Malian army vehicle in Timbuktu, September 9, 2021. AFP - MAIMOUNA MORO

By: David Baché


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JNIM claimed "a large-scale attack." The Malian military camp of Niafunké was first hit by a suicide vehicle. The jihadists claim to have then "taken control of the camp".

JNIM puts the death toll at several dozen Malian soldiers and two taken prisoner.

Five cars, heavy weapons and military equipment were also reportedly looted. Jnim released footage showing off the loot.

At the same time, the jihadist group claimed to have fired 120 mortar shells at the Goundam military camp, in the same region of Timbuktu.

Local sources say around 50 Malian soldiers were killed in Niafunké. No information on the aftermath of the shooting in Goundam has been provided. Contacted by RFI, the Malian army did not wish to provide details or an assessment.

In a terse two-sentence statement, issued late Friday afternoon, November 24th, the Malian General Staff acknowledged that it had been subjected to "shelling" in Niafunké and Goundam.

After having "tried in vain to occupy these rights-of-way," the Malian army said, the attackers were "repulsed" and "routed."

Read alsoThe Malian army invades the former UN camp of Goundam without incident

Joint statement by the Malian transitional authorities and the military junta in power in Niger

The Malian transitional authorities and the CNSP, the military junta in power in Niger, issued a joint statement on the morning of Saturday, November 25, following the visit of General Tiani, head of the Nigerien junta, to Bamako on Friday, November 24. Bamako and Niamey promise to strengthen their bilateral cooperation and continue the ongoing operationalization of the Alliance of Sahel States (AES) created two months ago by Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso.

Several meetings are scheduled in Bamako with the ministers of economy and foreign affairs of these three countries, until next week. The delegations, led by Colonel Assimi Goïta, Mali's transitional president, and General Tiani, president of the Nigerien CNSP, reaffirmed their commitment "to combine their efforts to increase the fight against terrorist groups" and to "carry out joint actions" in Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso. The Nigerien side also "congratulated" Mali on the reconquest of Kidal ten days ago.

Mali and Niger announce that they will "pool" their "efforts to comb the areas of retreat of the terrorists driven out of Kidal." Finally, a date must be set for a future visit to Niger by Mali's transitional president.

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