Adnan Abou Walid al-Sahraoui had personally ordered the assassination of six French aid workers and their Nigerien guide and driver.
The leader of the jihadist group Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (EIGS), Adnan Abou Walid al Sahraoui, was “Neutralized” by the French forces (“kill”, specified the Élysée), announced Emmanuel Macron on Twitter on the night of Wednesday to Thursday.
“This is another major success in our fight against terrorist groups in the Sahel”, added the French president. The EIGS is considered to be the author of most of the attacks in the tri-border area, straddling Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso. This so-called “three borders” area is the recurring target of attacks by two jihadist armed groups: the Islamic State in the Great Sahara (EIGS) and the Support Group for Islam and Muslims (GSIM), affiliated with Al Qaeda.
The EIGS carried out particularly deadly attacks, targeting civilians and soldiers, in Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso. He had targeted American soldiers in a deadly attack in 2017. On August 9, 2020, in Niger, the head of the EIGS personally ordered the assassination of six French aid workers and their Nigerien guide and driver. Already in June and July the French army killed several high-ranking executives of the EIGS, as part of its strategy to target the leaders and executives of jihadist organizations.
After more than eight years of significant engagement, Emmanuel Macron announced in June a reduction of the French military presence in the Sahel and the end of the anti-jihadist operation Barkhane in favor of a tightened device, refocused on counterterrorism operations. and support in combat for local armies, around an international alliance bringing together Europeans.
“The Nation is thinking this evening of all its heroes who died for France in the Sahel in the Serval and Barkhane operations, of the bereaved families, of all of its wounded. Their sacrifice is not in vain. With our African, European and American partners, we will continue this fight ”Emmanuel Macron added in another tweet.