Don't miss




Tears and champagne as commercial flights resume between Ethiopia and Eritrea

Read more


UN warns of 'conspiracy of complacency' in fighting HIV

Read more


Nicaragua: another descent into dictatorship?

Read more


Nicaragua's Boiling Point: Americas divided over Ortega's crackdown

Read more


What the World Cup win means for France

Read more


'Nation-state' bill sparks controversy in Israel

Read more


Young women in China go under the knife to improve job prospects

Read more


Film show: Why we love 'Ant-man and the Wasp'

Read more


Brussels to slap $5 billion fine on Google

Read more


Security overshadows AU summit as Qaeda-linked group claims Mali attack

© Stringer, AFP | Smoke billows from the site of an explosion in Gao, Mali on July 1, 2018.

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2018-07-02

African leaders gathered in the Mauritanian capital on Monday for the final day of a summit overshadowed by security issues, as an al Qaeda-linked group claimed responsibility for a weekend attack on French troops in Mali.

French President Emmanuel Macron is making an exceptional appearance at the African Union (AU) summit in the Mauritanian capital of Nouakchott in a bid to focus attention on the security issues confronting the Sahel, the fragile transition zone between the Sahara and the African savanna.

Map: the five members of the G5 Sahel regional force

Macron is expected to discuss hurdles facing a five-nation French-backed anti-terror unit, the "G5 Sahel" force.

Arriving in Nouakchott Monday afternoon, Macron paid tribute to the victims of a weekend attack in the northern Malian city of Gao and a suicide bombing   last week in Sevare, in central Mali.

Macron said he would meet on the sidelines of an AU summit with the presidents of Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Chad and Mauritania -- members of the G5 Sahel force – “to take concrete decisions on the redeployment of our forces."

Al Qaeda-linked group claims attack on French troops

Macron’s arrival at the AU summit came as the al Qaeda-linked Nusrat al-Islam wal Muslimeen group claimed responsibility for the attack in Gao, which killed four civilians and four French soldiers.

The region is home to a number of jihadist groups, many of which have pledged allegiance to either al Qaeda or the Islamic State (IS) group, explained FRANCE 24’s expert on jihadist movements, Wassim Nasr.

“Many groups in the Sahel are creating coalitions under two main banners – al Qaeda and the IS group,” said Nasr. “Among the groups under the banner of al Qaeda, Nusrat al-Islam wal Muslimeen, which was formed in April 2017, is the most important.”

Nusrat al-Islam wal Muslimeen has claimed responsibility for three deadly attacks in Mali since Friday as the country prepares for a presidential election on July 29. These include an attack on French forces on Sunday, an assault on the G5 Sahel taskforce headquarters in Sevare on Friday, and an attack on Malian troops on Saturday that killed five.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP and REUTERS)

Date created : 2018-07-02

  • MALI

    Several French soldiers injured in latest Mali attack

    Read more

  • MALI

    French and Malian troops kill dozens of insurgents in Mali gun battle

    Read more


    Burkina Faso attacks may have targeted G5 Sahel anti-terrorism talks, govt says

    Read more