An analyst for the Economist Intelligence Unit has indicated that recent attacks in Mali were executed in areas where there used to be a high concentration of foreign forces.
“The attacks that took place, they took place in northern Mali and northern Mali was where a lot of the French forces were concentrated and the U.N. forces were also heavily concentrated in these areas,” Dr. Shaantanu Shankar said.
“Northern Mali was also the region that was the source of the Malian crisis initially more than a decade ago,” he added.
On Friday, a military camp in Mali’s restive north was attacked, a day after two separate assaults by al-Qaida-linked insurgents killed 49 civilians and 15 government soldiers, the military revealed.
The attack on Thursday aimed at a triple-decker passenger boat near the village of Zarho, about 90 kilometers (55 miles) east of Timbuktu.
The statement noted that the government killed about 50 assailants while responding to the attacks.
It went ahead to pronounce three days of national mourning to honor the civilians and soldiers that lost their lives in the attacks.
In less than a year, Al-Qaida-affiliated and Islamic State-linked groups have almost doubled the territory they control in Mali, the United Nations said in a report last month, as they take advantage of a weak government and of armed groups that signed a 2015 peace agreement.
The deadly attacks come as the U.N. prepares to withdraw its 17,000-member peacekeeping mission, MINUSMA, from Mali at the government’s request.
The pullout is scheduled to be completed before the start of 2024.
In 2013, the UN deployed peacekeepers and MINUSMA has become the most dangerous UN mission in the world, with more than 300 personnel killed.