The deterioration of the security situation in northern Mali worries the president of Niger, Mohamed Bazoum.
The president of Niger painted a bleak picture of the security situation in northern Mali. "The security situation in the Ménaka region has totally deteriorated since the departure of Barkhane. Since the end of March, terrorists have conquered even larger territories, killed people and created tension between communities like never before," Mohamed Bazoum lamented in an interview with France24.
According to the Nigerien head of state, the situation is so desperate that it is not impossible that the jihadist flag is flying over "Ménaka". "It is likely," he predicted, convinced that the EIGS (former name of the EIS) intends to attack Ménaka.
"Will it be to stay there? Is it not to stay there? It is not their way of doing things to stay in important places like Ménaka. They have never had a vocation to administer anything. But they are militarily capable of attacking Ménaka," he added.
"The Malian armed forces are said to be in Ménaka, they are there with their Russian auxiliaries, but I see that this has not prevented the situation from deteriorating further," the Nigerien president lamented.
On the other hand, Bazoum does not see the same pattern unfolding in Gao even if he recognises that the jihadists "have made great advances" around this region.
From September 6 to 8, the Islamic State occupied Talataye, a village in the Ansongo circle, in the Gao region. The jihadists ambushed Al Qaeda's "enemy brothers" to reach this locality where they also clashed with pro-government Tuareg movements. Dozens of people have been killed in the clashes on both sides.