Bamako Resort Attack: Why Foreigners Are Constant Targets In Mali

Bamako Resort Attack– Mali Military officials have confirmed a Sunday attack at a luxury resort Le Campement Kangaba, the eastern region of Bamako, Mali capital.

The resort is one of the top spots patronized by the countries prominent figures and international tourists.

This recent attack stresses the fears and warnings of the UN last year. The international agency raised an alarm over the increasing rate of insecurity threats.

Former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned that terrorists were taking advantage of the limited presence of Malian law enforcement institutions to perpetuate heinous crimes in the country.

In 2012, the northern part of Mali was riddled with violence, courtesy of Tuareg-led rebels and jihadist groups linked to Al-Qaeda who took control of the region.

Resolving the conflict led to a peace agreement between the rebels and the government. Unfortunately the menace has not ceased.

It is not clear at the moment which group was responsible for the attack as neither the Tuareg rebels nor the Al-Qaeada affiliate, al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) has taken responsibility for it.

Mali military authorities have described it as a terrorist attack.

The report says that 4 gunmen stormed the resort and unleashed their attacks. With the intervention of the military, 2 civilians lost their lives, 4 of the gunmen have been killed.

Malian state TV says 36 guests were rescued and at least 14 wounded.

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Some of the weapons retrieved from the gunmen were a machine gun and bottles filled with “explosive substances”.

According to Salif Traore, Mali’s Security Minister,

“It is a jihadist attack. Malian special forces intervened and hostages have been released,” 

“Unfortunately for the moment there are two dead, including a Franco-Gabonese.”

“We have recovered the bodies of two attackers who were killed,”

Interestingly this attack seems to be a seeming repeat of the 2015 Bamako Hotel attack in 2015.

Evidently, the attackers target luxury spots for highly prominent personalities and foreigners. The Bamako resort is a favorite for top government officials and foreign tourists. Same could be said of the 2015 Bamako Hotel attack which claimed the lives of 20 persons while initially holding 150 people hostage.

On 20 November 2015, Islamic extremists took 170 hostages; killing 20 in a mass shooting at the Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako.

As a pro-western country battling with serious socio-economic threats, Mali is vulnerable to terror attacks.

It is a fact that terrorism breeds in societies with troubled economies and chaotic environments. Worsening the situation is the country’s foreign relation’s policy with the Western world; the United States and France to be precise.

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Till date, Mali has enjoyed a significant cordial relationship with France which was its former colonial ruler.

The Security Minister thus confirms that French soldiers aided in the recent Bamako attack.

“There were four national police vehicles and French soldiers in armored vehicles on the scene.”

Religious extremism took off to an alarming height the minute world powers, led by the United States captured Osama bin Laden; following the bombing of the Twin Towers.

ISIS and their affiliates in the world over are in a war against socio-administrative structures that uphold western ideals/civilization.

About half of Mali’s population reportedly live below the international poverty line of $1.25 a day.

Logically building bridges for viable international investments with the US is an option for the current Mali government.

ISIS rates countries who support its arch enemies-United States and Europe- as western puppets. These extremists see them as “infidels” by virtue of association.

Mali is a predominantly Muslim country. So the government’s efforts in securing international investments are probably summed up by Islamic extremists as fraternizing with the enemy.

It is typical then that the anti-western Islamist rebels attack foreigners from time to time.