The French army killed last Saturday in northern Mali a cadre of the jihadist group Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (Aqmi) responsible for the kidnapping in 2013 of two French journalists from RFI, murdered after being taken hostage. “On June 5, Barkhane’s soldiers detected the preparation of a terrorist attack in Aguelhok, in northern Mali”, against a UN grip and “eliminated four terrorists”, among whom “Baye Ag Bakabo, cadre of AQIM and responsible for the kidnapping of our fellow citizens ”Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon, assassinated in Kidal (north) on November 2, 2013, Florence Parly announced on Friday.
“Its neutralization puts an end to a long wait,” commented the minister, addressing her “thoughts to the families and relatives of Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon”. On November 2, 2013, the two French journalists from Radio France Internationale (RFI) were kidnapped during a report and then killed near Kidal, a few months after the French operation Serval intended to prevent an armed column of jihadists from seizing from Bamako. Their bodies were found less than two hours later, a dozen kilometers away. On November 6, Aqmi claimed responsibility for their assassination.
The day after the announcement of the end of Barkhane
The result of this operation “illustrates one of France’s main priorities in the Sahel: to bring down the main leaders of the terrorist groups that are rife in the region, the RVIM (Rally for the victory of Islam and Muslims, editor’s note) linked to Al-Qaeda, and the EIGS (Islamic State in the Great Sahara, editor’s note) linked to Daesh ”, underlined the minister.
While President Emmanuel Macron announced on Thursday the upcoming end of the French anti-terrorism operation Barkhane in the Sahel, for the benefit of a lighter international support and combat support system for local troops, “the objective remains: France remains committed against international terrorism, alongside Sahelian countries, and for the security of Europe and the French, ”concluded Florence Parly.