Mali and Chad replace senior armed forces staff after deadly attacks

The governments of Mali and Chad have both replaced senior leaders in their armed forces after deadly attacks in both countries left more than 150 dead.

Mali replaces armed forces leaders, dissolves Dogon militia

Mali’s government on Sunday, March 24 announced the sacking of senior military officers and the dissolution of a militia, a day after the massacre of more than 130 Fulani Muslims in Ogossagou in central Mali’s Mopti region.

The announcement came after an emergency meeting of the Council of Ministers called by President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita in response to Saturday’s massacre.

After less than two years in the post, M’Bemba Moussa Keita was sacked and his deputy, Abdoulaye Coulibaly, was appointed Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces, the Council of Ministers said in a statement. Coulibaly was also promoted to Major General, with Brigadier General Souleymane Bamba appointed as his deputy.

Kéba Sangaré becomes Chief of Staff of the Army and Daouda Dembele becomes Chief of Staff of the Air Force, with both promoted to Brigadier General.

Prime Minister Soumeylou Boubeye Maiga said the Dan Nan Ambassagou association, composed of Dogon hunters, had been dissolved to send a clear message. “The protection of the population will remain the monopoly of the state,” Maiga told journalists.

“For some time, the Dan Nan Ambassagou Association has departed from its initial objectives, despite repeated warnings from local administrative authorities,” the government said in a statement.

After a meeting of its fighters on March 20, the group said that due to “attacks of armed bandits dressed in uniform” it would resume patrols “in order to secure the people and their property.”

Survivors of Saturday’s attack said ethnic Dogon hunters carried out the deadly raid in Ogossagou.

Chad replaces senior armed forces staff

Meanwhile, Chad’s President Idriss Deby fired his armed forces chief of staff following the latest bout of unrest which culminated in a Boko Haram attack at Dangdala on Lake Chad that left 23 dead, the deadliest attack on the Chadian military by the jihadist group.

On Friday night, just hours after the attack, Deby replaced Brahim Seid Mahamat and his two deputies by presidential decree after six years in the post.

Lieutenant General Taher Erda, the Army Chief of Staff and a former director general of the National Police, was appointed Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces, with Major General Djimadoum Traïna as first deputy and and Major General Touffa Abdoulaye as second deputy, Tchad Infos reported.

Erda is a Deby loyalist who fought alongside the president before he took power in a coup in 1990.

Major General Baharadine Adoum Haggar replaced Erda as Army Chief of Staff.

A general from the northeastern region of Tibesti was made chief advisor on national defense issues, AFP reported.

Deby’s reorganisation of security included the suspension of the air force chief and his deputy following the discovery of debris from an helicopter which went missing more than a week ago in the north.

With reporting from AFP

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