Mauritania holds military exercises near border with Mali

Mauritania holds military exercises near border with Mali
Mauritanian army conduct military exercises on its southeastern border / Photo credit: Armed Forces of Mauritania 

Mauritania’s army has conducted a series of military drills on its southeastern border with Mali over the last few days, against a backdrop of increasing tension with its Sahelian neighbor, according to a report in the National. In an online statement Sunday, the Army said the exercises’ objective was to test military hardware and determine logistical needs. 

“Aircraft weapons, artillery and special forces participated in destroying a hypothetical enemy who attempted to infiltrate the national territory for the purpose of carrying out an aggressive act,” it added. 

Last month, Mauritanian media reported that Malian army units, together with elements from Russia’s Wagner group, attacked the border village of Fassala in pursuit of militants from Mali’s separatist Toureg movement, Azawad. 

Mauritania summoned the Malian ambassador in Nouakchott to protest against what it described as repeated attacks against Mauritanians living in Mali.

Mauritania and Mali share a land border more than 2,000 km long. The mostly desert area is a haven for extremist groups like Azawad and several Al Qaeda affiliates.

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