The French army killed last Saturday in northern Mali a jihadist leader of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (Aqmi). This man, Baye ag Bakabo, was responsible for the kidnapping in November 2013 of two French journalists from RFI, murdered after being taken hostage, Armed Minister Florence Parly announced on Friday.
“On June 5, Barkhane’s soldiers detected the preparation of a terrorist attack in Aguelhok, in northern Mali” and “eliminated four terrorists”, including “Baye ag Bakabo, AQIM executive and responsible for the kidnapping of our fellow citizens ”Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon, declared the Minister. “Its neutralization puts an end to a long wait,” she commented, addressing her “thoughts to the families and relatives of Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon”.
Baye ag Bakabo was known since 2010 by the intelligence services “as being at the same time a bandit, a trafficker and a jihadist”, noted the site. Young Africa in 2013. His responsibility for the kidnapping of journalists had been established by the use of his personal vehicle and by phone calls made to AQIM officials.
“France remains committed against international terrorism”
On November 2, 2013, the two French journalists from Radio France Internationale (RFI) were kidnapped during a report and then killed near Kidal, a few months after the French operation Serval intended to prevent an armed column of jihadists from seizing from Bamako. Their bodies were found less than two hours later, a dozen kilometers away. On November 6, Aqmi claimed responsibility for their assassination.
The result of this operation “illustrates one of France’s main priorities in the Sahel: to bring down the main leaders of the terrorist groups that are rampant in the region, the RVIM (Editor’s note: Rally for the victory of Islam and Muslims) linked to Al-Qaeda, and EIGS (Islamic State in the Greater Sahara) linked to Daesh ”, underlined the minister.
While President Emmanuel Macron announced on Thursday the imminent end of the French anti-terrorism operation Barkhane in the Sahel, for the benefit of a lighter international support and combat support system for local troops, “the objective remains: France remains committed against international terrorism, alongside Sahelian countries, and for the security of Europe and the French, ”concluded Florence Parly.