French Troops in Mali Anti-Jihadist Campaign Mired in Mud, Mistrust

The French soldiers seeking out jihadists in central Mali's savannahs were prepared for the sandstorms, the thunderstorms, the lack of anything resembling a road, and the need to tow vehicles whose wheels kept getting stuck in floodplains.They knew getting information out of terrified villagers would be difficult.But as the multi-week operation wore on in Gourma district, where 400 French troops and 100 allied Malians searched for 50-odd jihadists they estimated were hiding in the shadows, the obstacles kept piling up.First, there were the storms, forcing them to abandon supper, pack...

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Published By: VOA Africa - Tuesday, 13 August

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