The Malian authorities are combating terrorism on 80% of the country’s territory, Foreign Minister Abdoulaye Diop told Sputnik.
“Today Mali is fighting terrorism on 80% of its territory. There are various types of terrorist activities in the country. A conflict between communities persists. All this undermines the stability of the state. And we can assume that elections will be conducted smoothly only in five out of 19 regions of Mali,” Diop said.
Active terrorist activities are already being carried out in 200 kilometers (124 miles) from the Malian capital of Bamako, which prevent politicians from traveling to these settlements, the minister stressed.
According to Diop, the country’s government is working to improve the security situation, and the authorities are ready to cooperate with all forces in Mali, including the UN mission, the French Barkhane military and the forces of G5 Sahel.
At the same time, Diop noted that the main responsibility for the security of the country still lies with the Malians.
According to the minister, 80% of all attacks in the country are carried out by militants of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, and 10-15% are carried out by the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (both terrorist groups, banned in Russia).
In May, the Malian armed forces led by then-Vice President Assimi Goita removed interim President Bah Ndaw and acting Prime Minister Moctar Ouane from office after accusing them of breaking transition rules. The military council took control of the country and announced its intention to hold presidential and parliamentary elections in 2022. The Constitutional Court of Mali declared Goita the transitional president.