A French soldier killed after the attack on a military base in Mali
A French soldier has died after a rocket attack on the French army base in Gao, Mali.
The French Ministry of Armed Forces issued a statement on Sunday morning saying that the attack occurred on Saturday at the Operation Barkhane military base in Gao, Mali.
The statement claims the attack was carried out by “terrorists”.
Operation Barkhane, the French military counter-insurgency operation in the Sahel, has been operating in Mali since 2014. It replaced Operation Serval, the French army’s operation to regain control of northern Mali, which had was taken over by the Islamists in 2012.
This year, after what French President Emmanuel Macron called a withdrawal of the French military presence in Mali, Barkhane’s forces were withdrawn from military bases in Tessalit, Kidal and Timbuktu in northern Mali. The Gao base continues to serve as the center of Operation Barkhane.
Popular opposition to the French military presence in Mali has grown considerably in recent years. France has backed recent Economic Community of West African States sanctions that were imposed following a 2026 presidential election plan proposed by Mali’s current military government.
Thousands of Malians have taken to the streets of cities across the country this month to denounce the sanctions, most also denouncing France’s presence in Mali.