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The British Minusma in operation near Ansongo in Mali

(B2) British soldiers, part of the United Nations peacekeeping mission, seized some weapons belonging to an ISGS group during an operation near Ansongo, Mali.

British soldiers recovering the motorcycle left in the middle of the ford. (MOD UK)

On patrol

This is the result of a 17-day operation (Makara 2), carried out in September by soldiers of Long Range Reconnaissance Group, the LRRG. This reconnaissance unit first came across three suspected members of the terrorist group EIGS (the Islamic State in the Great Sahara). Those who have “ abandoned their equipment, while fleeing “says a press release from the British MinDéf in early November.

Several motorcycles, weapons and equipment seized

One of the three men was arrested while trying to escape on a motorbike across a body of water. During a search of the area, the British Queen's Dragoon Guards were able to enter two motorcycles, a rocket launcher (RPG) with ammunition, radios and combat clothing ". A few days later, soldiers from the same British cavalry regiment came upon two other armed men, arresting them after they tried to flee. Summary: “ two AK47 rifles, ammunition, radios and other military equipment typed.

Operation Makara 2 to stabilize the area

This entry is not entirely a coincidence. The UN's Operation Makara 2 was set up after the deadly attacks in August around Ansongo, which left dozens of villagers dead, to stabilize the area and reassure the local population. The LRRG which provides the UN with “ specialized reconnaissance capability " In the long term, " patrolling remote areas » had also been deployed to assist the United Nations human rights team responsible for investigating the killing.

A Robust Approach to Peacekeeping

For Lieutenant-Colonel Will Meddings, head of the British task force, “ the key to success is to deploy patrols for long periods of time and stay put », to collect information and intelligence, in particular by dialoguing with the population. This allows you to have “ a good picture of how jihadist groups operate [and] then take action against them ". A " robust approach” peacekeeping, necessary for " protect the Malian people ", according to him.

(Nicolas Gros-Verheyde)

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).