Mali Receives Six More Warplanes From Russia to Combat Insurgency

Mali Junta Receives Russian Jets And Helicopter to Combat Insurgency (News Central TV)

Five military aircraft and a combat helicopter have been delivered to Mali by Russia, a strong supporter in the country’s struggle against the insurgency.

Defence Minister Sadio Camara praised what he dubbed Mali’s win-win collaboration with Russia during the transfer ceremony.

Since a coup in May of last year, relations between the two countries have improved.

The fact that Mali hired Russian mercenaries and the country’s second military takeover in less than a year were the main factors in France’s decision to withdraw its troops from Mali.

Attacks by insurgents have increased in recent weeks. News Central on Tuesday reported that militants killed 17 soldiers and four civilians in shootings over the weekend.

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22 soldiers were hurt in the attack, according to the army, while nine other soldiers were reported missing.

The Mali insurgency is an ongoing armed conflict that started in January 2012 between the northern and southern parts of Mali in Africa. On January 16, 2012, several insurgent groups began fighting a campaign against the Malian government for independence or greater autonomy for northern Mali, which they called Azawad.

The National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA), an organisation fighting to make this area of Mali an independent homeland for the Tuareg people, had taken control of the region by April 2012.

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