In the atmosphere of tension that currently prevails in Mali, the infox could be part of it. It is in any case clear from the statements of the general Salif Traoré, ex-minister of internal Security and civil Protection of Mali. After guidance on the circumstances and the manner in which the special forces counter-terrorism say Forsat have been established, it has delivered to the Point Africa the logic that makes him think that, behind the information involving the Forsat in repression of demonstrations inspired by the Movement of June 5 (M5-RFP), the alliance that defies the power in the street, there could be political manipulation.
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The Point Africa : Why the Forsat were they created ? What are their prerogatives ?
General Salif Traoré : Mali, in recent years, has suffered several terrorist attacks. A first in Byblos, in Sévaré, in 2014, at the Terrace restaurant here in Bamako, then, at the Radisson hotel Bamako finally, shortly after that I was appointed minister. The attack on the Radisson has shown us that there were problems with coordination. We realized that we had no items specialized for this type of intervention. Of course, we had an embryo at the level of the force, the PIGN (Platoon of the national gendarmerie intervention) formed by the French and the Americans. Moreover, it is to him that we have projected up to Sévaré and in the attack of the Terrace. Otherwise, all of the forces involved. Very quickly so we have done this and have come to the conclusion that it was necessary to put in place a new force. It is at this time that the concept of special Force anti-terrorism is here. We have taken, to the create, the embryos of the special forces who are in the three bodies that are the national police, the national gendarmerie and the national guard. The 30 items selected in each one of them have been trained to become a special force anti-terrorism is capable of specifically manage all types of terrorist attacks.
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This special force is used in other frameworks that the fight against terrorism ?
Of the few times. It has been used in the fight against organised crime when nests criminogenic are identified and that the information indicates that there are armed bandits and highly dangerous. Also, if a force classic is reluctant to go there. Therefore, if we do not have enough of the elements of the BAC (Brigade tasked with fighting crime) to go to treat this kind of problems, it has happened on a few rare occasions that we put in support a unit of the Forsat to pick these bandits. They also intervene in the centre and the north of the country. The Forsat is a unit that can be projected very quickly.
The Forsat, when it is in operation, does it have permission to neutralize systematically, to kill any potential enemy ?
No ! The Forsat and the security forces in general do not have to shoot to neutralize that if there is a danger of death, to protect someone's life or when there is no other way. No one is allowed to kill needlessly. When one wants to dismantle a group on the ground, catch members is always better for us, because after the debriefing, our services can learn more. Accuracy : there is no unit that is created, trained, trained to only kill.
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what is direct authority meets the Forsat ?
Since the creation of the Forsat, the direct authority of this power is the minister of internal Security. It has always been a technical advisor for operations. It's a bit of the belt transmission between the force and the minister.
The Forsat does not have to intervene in this type of situation, unless there is a terrorist threat. Although not in function, I have not heard that there was a terrorist attack or a terrorist threat expected. It is in this case only that we would have seen elements of the Forsat. It should not make confusion between the units. The Forsat was not intended to be there. Its members know the protocol for use. If they receive an illegal order, and the run, they are held responsible. It is important to know that these are professionals who do not have to do with maintaining order. I don't see that would have given the order to go and intervene in a mission of maintaining public order.
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So, you condemn the fact that there has been use of this special force in the events of July 10 to 12,?
I am not condemning, I'm just saying that this is not possible !
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So, you do not believe that the Forsat be reached during this weekend of protest violent ?
no one has seen the Forsat. The police, in their presentation, have their logo. If they had been there, we would have seen more images. There are plenty of units that are masked and wearing uniforms of black. Mixing the Forsat at these events, it is just a political fight. It all started in Sikasso a few months ago. We had specific information of an infiltration by a group of terrorists who wanted to attack major targets : city hall, governorate, and police stations. We had this information at around midday. I immediately authorized the sending of a unit of the Forsat in Sikasso to assert our presence and to show that we could fight back. This coincided with protests and blockade there was in town. We have asked the governor to lift the blockade. This has been done, the next day, before 9 am, all was finished. When the Forsat arrived in 17 hours, there were more problems to Sikasso. How would she have pulled on people ?
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We talk about all the same of a person killed by the Forsat in Sikasso
It has never been proven, even by the directorate-general of health. A few days after the passage of the Forsat, some have said to Sikasso as its elements had fired on the crowd. However, it is important to know that the Forsat has a strict protocol. I don't see them to follow orders not complying with their protocol. You imagine great people-trained and well-prepared that draw in the crowd with the result that the 11 dead ? Even blindfolded, when you pull in a crowd, there is no left 11 dead. Logically, it does not. I do not take position, but I'm just saying : check and investigate. Once that is done, we will be able to locate the responsibility.
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the letter of The Prime minister Boubou Cisse asked yet explanations as to the use of the Forsat in these events...
Many were not convinced on the deployment or not of the Forsat. This is when they saw the correspondence of the prime minister's office asking who has used the Forsat that they have started to think that it was true. This is not good, as they weaken. In any case, what I do know is that this special force has been created to combat terrorism and does not come out of this framework. Each time we used it to Bamako, it was against nests criminogenic and, thank God, they did not need to kill someone or to shoot to neutralize. It is truly unfortunate to mix the Forsat on considerations of politicians or low-level. This is not good and it does not serve anyone.