“The area around the Radisson Hotel is still silent, but just over 100 meters away, school-children are doing gym at a sports center: life continues”, said to MISNA from Bamako Niek De Goeij, representative in Mali of the Catholic Relief Service (CRS), whose offices are not far from the hotel that came under attack on Friday by an armed commando.
A second group, the Front de Liberation du Macina, also claimed the attack that left 27 dead, saying it acted in coordination with Ansar Dine (or Ansar Eddine). The attacks was conceived “in response against the Barkhane forces”, the French military mission currently engaged alongside the Malian army, stated Ali Hamma, spokesman of the armed group. The same organization was indicated as responsible for the attack also by Mali’s President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, who had set aside previous claims by the Al Mourabitoun and al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.
Meanwhile, as three days of national mourning begin today, Bamako is attempting to return to its daily routine. “The city was quiet Saturday, though with a visible security force presence, while Sunday activities began to resume as normal”, added De Goeij. Also the CRS and other NGOs are gradually reopening their offices, despite the uncertainty. “Naturally, our first question was ‘what will happen now?’ It was the second attack after that in March against ‘La Terrasse’ club and the situation appears more complex, but the NGOs have already put in place stricter security measures, which should be enough to protect us”, concluded De Goeij.