Burkina Faso: Eleven soldiers dead in attack on army base | ISIL/ISIS News

The nation has turn into the most recent epicentre of a shifting battle within the Sahel.

Eleven troopers have been killed and practically two dozen injured in an assault on a navy base in jap Burkina Faso, authorities mentioned.

Injured troopers had been taken to hospital and aerial help killed 15 attackers attempting to flee after Thursday’s assault in Madjoari in Kompienga province, the military mentioned in a press release on Friday.

For six years, the West African nation has been ravaged by violence from armed teams linked to al-Qaeda and ISIL (ISIS), inflicting 1000’s of deaths and displacement of practically two million folks.

It has turn into the most recent epicentre of a shifting battle within the Sahel.

In January, mutinous troopers eliminated the democratically elected president promising to stem the violence, however since then assaults have elevated.

Inside a 72-hour interval final week, practically 60 folks, together with civilians and safety forces, had been killed in violence focusing on villages in 4 areas throughout the nation, in line with an inner safety report for help staff seen by The Related Press information company.

“This assault in Madjoari is one more indication of militants’ functionality to focus on safety forces’ bases and sadly exhibiting the severity of [the] safety state of affairs in northern and jap areas,” mentioned Rida Lyammouri, a senior fellow on the Coverage Heart for the New South, a Moroccan-based organisation centered on economics and coverage.

US withdrawal prompted collapse of Afghan army: Report | News

The withdrawal of US forces and army contractors final yr has been touted as “the one most necessary issue” in triggering the collapse of the Afghan Nationwide Protection and Safety Forces (ANDSF), in accordance with an interim report by the US authorities’s main oversight authority on Afghanistan reconstruction.

Washington has spent almost $90bn on the Afghan military since 2002 in its efforts to battle the Taliban armed rise up. The Taliban regime was toppled from energy in a US-led invasion in 2001 within the wake of the 9/11 assaults.

The brand new report by the Particular Inspector Basic for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) factors to choices made by former US President Donald Trump and his successor Joe Biden as having precipitated the collapse of the Afghan military in August 2021 and the following Taliban takeover.

The US-Taliban settlement signed by the Trump administration in February 2020, by which Washington agreed to withdraw army forces and contractors from Afghanistan, “set in movement a sequence of occasions essential to understanding the ANDSF’s collapse”, the report mentioned.

Following the deal, the US dramatically decreased the variety of US air raids, leaving the ANDSF with out a key benefit in retaining the Taliban at bay. This resulted in “a way of abandonment inside the ANDSF and the Afghan inhabitants”.

“Many Afghans thought the US-Taliban settlement was an act of dangerous religion and a sign that the US was handing over Afghanistan to the enemy because it rushed to exit the nation,” SIGAR concluded.

Withdrawal of the contractors grounded the Afghan air pressure

Former US and Afghan army officers are quoted within the interim report saying the withdrawal of the contractors grounded the Afghan air pressure and sealed their destiny.

“We constructed that [Afghan] military to run on contractor help. With out it, it may well’t perform,” one former US commander in Afghanistan instructed SIGAR.

“When the contractors pulled out, it was like we pulled all of the stands proud of the Jenga pile and anticipated it to remain up.”

A former Afghan normal instructed SIGAR that 60 p.c of Black Hawk helicopters had been grounded in a matter of months within the wake of the withdrawal of contractors, together with those that supplied upkeep work.

In March 2021, because the incoming Biden administration deliberated its Afghanistan coverage, the Taliban threatened to renew assaults towards US and NATO forces if they didn’t withdraw by Might 1.

President Biden’s withdrawal announcement in April 2021 “destroyed ANDSF morale”, SIGAR discovered, as its officers had lengthy relied on the US army’s presence to guard towards large-scale losses and maintain their authorities accountable for paying their salaries.

By August 15, 2021, when the Taliban reached the gates of the capital Kabul, six of the seven corps of the Afghan military had surrendered or dissolved.

“These US choices had the extra influence of offering gas for the Taliban propaganda machine. For ANDSF forces already bodily remoted, going through provide shortages, and weathering aggressive Taliban propaganda efforts aimed toward demoralising them, paranoia … exacerbated an already difficult surroundings,” SIGAR discovered.

The US Division of State declined to remark to SIGAR on the report, and the US Company for Worldwide Improvement didn’t have any feedback.

Components that contributed to the ANDSF’s collapse

The oversight authority additionally recognized a number of elements that designate why, after 20 years and almost $90bn in US safety help, the ANDSF was ill-prepared to maintain safety following a US withdrawal.

Amongst them is an estimate of the size of the US time dedication that was “disconnected from the fact”; long-term dependencies akin to the supply of superior tools that might not be sustained; the dearth of metrics created to successfully measure ANDSF capabilities and Afghan authorities corruption.

SIGAR discovered the ANDSF to have remained reliant on the US army partly as a result of the US designed the ANDSF as a mirror picture of US forces. “The USA created a mixed arms army construction that required a excessive diploma {of professional} army sophistication and management,” the report mentioned.

As a result of US troops had been far more practical at preventing, they typically led missions or crammed essential gaps in missions on the expense of the ANDSF gaining expertise preventing by itself.

Moreover, slightly than growing a nationwide safety technique and planning for nationwide safety following the withdrawal of US forces, the federal government of former President Ashraf Ghani modified ANDSF leaders and appointed loyalists, marginalising well-trained ANDSF officers aligned with the US.

SIGAR mentioned it had discovered the Taliban to be utilizing US-provided army tools, whereas some US-provided plane have been recovered and others stay in limbo in different nations.

At Sri Lanka protest camp, army veterans once led by president | Protests News

Lacking each legs and an arm, former particular forces soldier Thushara Kumara is an unlikely critic of Gotabaya Rajapaksa, a wartime defence chief who grew to become Sri Lanka’s president in 2019.

However the 43-year-old military pensioner is considered one of a number of dozen veterans now tenting out at a protest web site close to the president’s workplace in Colombo, having misplaced religion in a frontrunner who stubbornly resisted calls to resign when the economic system started to implode and most of his cupboard give up.

“We devoted our lives to save lots of this nation and this can be very unhappy to see what has occurred to it now,” Kumara stated, sitting surrounded by previous comrades, a number of with prosthetic limbs.

Sri Lanka veterans
Sri Lankan struggle veteran W Okay Premaratne places on his prosthetic leg at an anti-government protest web site close to the Presidential Secretariat in Colombo [Navesh Chitrakar/Reuters]

Weakened by the pandemic, the Indian Ocean island’s economic system was fast-tracked in direction of catastrophe by a surge in world oil costs following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in late February. The federal government funds had been already in a parlous state, partly owing to populist insurance policies, together with tax cuts.

Quickly dwindling international foreign money reserves left Sri Lanka, a rustic of twenty-two million folks, with out sufficient {dollars} to pay for very important imports of gasoline, meals and drugs, and violent road demonstrations erupted this month as shortages and energy cuts grew to become acute.

Earlier this month, Sri Lanka kicked off talks with the Worldwide Financial Fund (IMF) for a programme to stabilise the economic system. The federal government can be in talks with a number of nations and multilateral companies to line up about $3bn in bridge financing and has suspended compensation on a few of its international debt to divert funds to pay for important imports.

Amid the unfolding disaster, there have been road protests countrywide, with hundreds of individuals becoming a member of some demonstrations.

Sri Lanka crisis
Demonstrators marching in direction of Sri Lankan PM Mahinda Rajapaksa’s residence in Colombo [Navesh Chitrakar/Reuters]

“I get a pension due to the taxpayers of this nation, and now we have a accountability to step up now and assist the courageous efforts by these younger folks to save lots of this nation,” Kumara stated.

“They’re combating for this nation’s future,” stated the veteran, who had served within the military for 16 years. “That’s the reason we’re right here.”

Father to 3 kids, Kumara misplaced his limbs in a mortar explosion weeks earlier than Sri Lanka’s bloody 26-year civil struggle towards Tamil separatists led to Could 2009.

Rajapaksa and his brother, then-president Mahinda Rajapaksa, ordered the offensive that lastly broke the rebels’ resistance, however hundreds of individuals died within the onslaught.

On the small however rising protest camp by Colombo’s waterfront, folks of all ages and faiths, together with Muslims breaking their Ramadan quick, saffron-clad Buddhist monks and Catholic nuns carrying habits, gathered.

Though there have been only some dozen military veterans, their presence indicated the discontent had reached even Rajapaksa’s most ardent supporters.

Sri Lanka veterans
Sri Lankan veterans H M S Mahindasiri, centre, and Uditha Roshan, proper, on the protest web site in Colombo [Navesh Chitrakar/Reuters]

Ministry of Defence spokesman Colonel Nalin Herath declined to touch upon the involvement of veterans within the protests, although he stated the army supported the federal government’s place to permit peaceable dissent.

“The defence secretary has clearly said there shall be no obstruction to peaceable protests,” he stated.

The veterans, a few of whom have travelled lots of of kilometres from their houses, sleep on thinly-padded mats by the busy seafront highway, taking turns to make use of public bathrooms situated additional down the scenic stretch of seaside.

“We’re used to hardship. So, we aren’t too apprehensive about meals,” Uditha Roshan, 40, stated, sipping on ginger tea offered by volunteers as passers-by cease to take selfies with the boys, most of whom are amputees.

Most of the veterans stated they might not vote for Rajapaksa once more, having backed him in 2019 when he campaigned laborious on nationwide safety in an election that got here months after the Easter bombings rocked the nation.

“He won’t get the possibility to be a presidential candidate once more,” stated H M S Mahindasiri, 40, a double amputee who voted for Rajapaksa three years in the past.

“The folks haven’t any religion in him.”