The Menaka region, like the rest of the other regions of northern Mali faces an increase in insecurity. This is mainly due to the slow implementation of the peace and reconciliation agreement in Mali. The agreement signed between the government and the armed groups of these localities aims to establish a lasting peace in the north of the country and to fight against terrorism. In the past few days, two armed groups, including the MSA, the Azawad Salvation Movement and the Gatia, the Touareg imghad and Allied Self-Defense Group, have launched joint patrols with the support of the Malian Armed Forces to secure the region.
“The Malian army is delighted with the initiative taken by these groups and is accompanying them on this road. Our objective is to ensure the safety of people and their property”, said Lieutenant Abdourahmane Ag Mbareck.
It’s after a meeting of the populations of Ménaka held at the end of March that measures were taken to strengthen security in the region. << We organized the deal because we were the victim of many ailments. There are robberies, vehicle kidnappings, assassinations. Partners are burgled every night. There are kidnappings every day on the road that connects us to Ansongo and Gao. It’s the initiative of two nationals of Ménaka in the person of El Hadj Ag Gamou and Moussa Ag Acharatoumane that consultations resulted in the agreement of all the communities of the region >>, explains Lando Koyta, first deputy mayor of Menaka.
Measures include the installation of operational security emergency to the borders of Niger and the strengthening of understanding between the populations.
The reinforcement of security will allow the populations who are regularly attacked to freely go about their activities, according to Adim Ag Albacher, an officer of MSA. << All the people of Menaka are tired. That’s why we decided to organize ourselves together to restore security home >>, he told Sahelien.com.
The patrols are conducted day and night in order to secure the city and its surroundings. There is a curfew from 10 pm to 6 am and the traffic of vehicles at nightfall is limited to ambulances, military and administrative vehicles.
About traffic in the city, all vehicles or two-wheeled vehicles must have identification documents. << This is to facilitate the task when looking for motorcycle or stolen vehicle. When the owner of a stolen vehicle makes a statement, he gives his name and information such as chassis number, gear type etc. It is shared with patrols and checkpoints on the roads to facilitate search >>, said Ismaghil Ag Abdorahmane, an MSA fighter.
For the time being, the Operational Coordination Mechanism (MOC) provided under the peace and reconciliation agreement, which must handle joint patrols in the northern regions, is not yet operational in Ménaka.