Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita has declared a three-day national mourning from Monday after the ISIS attack on a camp in the north, the deadliest in years for the Malian army.
Forty-nine Malian soldiers were killed on Friday in the attack on Indelimane camp near Niger in the north-east of the country, authorities said. A month earlier, 40 soldiers were killed in a double jihadist attack near the Burkina Faso border.
« The President of the Republic decrees a national mourning for three days from Monday, » said a statement read on national radio.
The Malian president has still not spoken publicly about the events of Indelimane.
The Islamic State organization claimed responsibility for the attack on Saturday in a statement signed by its « West Africa Province », as well as the laying of a homemade bomb in the same area that killed a French soldier from Operation Barkhane. .
The setbacks suffered by the Malian army reinforce questions about its ability to cope with jihadist acts and other violence that Mali has been prey to since 2012 and that have left thousands dead, civilians and combatants.
The violence spread from north to central Mali, then to neighboring Burkina Faso and Niger, often intermingling with hundreds of deaths.
The French Minister of the Armed Forces, Florence Parly, on an official visit in this region of the Sahel, preached Monday to N’Djamena of the « patience » in the fight against the jihadist groups.