The leader of the jihadist group Islamic State in the Great Sahara (EIGS), Adnan Abou Walid Al-Sahraoui, was killed by French forces, Emmanuel Macron announced on Twitter on the night of Wednesday 15 to Thursday 16 September.
“This is another major success in our fight against terrorist groups in the Sahel”, added the French president.
Adnan Abou Walid al Sahraoui, leader of the terrorist group Islamic State in the Greater Sahara has been neutralized by the for… https://t.co/Zha1YETzXO
– EmmanuelMacron (@Emmanuel Macron)
The EIGS is considered to be the author of most of the attacks in the “three borders” area, straddling Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso. This region is the recurring target of two jihadist armed groups: the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (EIGS) and the Support Group for Islam and Muslims (GSIM), affiliated with Al Qaeda.
Particularly deadly attacks
The EIGS committed particularly deadly actions, targeting civilians and soldiers, in Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso. He also targeted American soldiers 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 EIGS cadres.
After more than eight years of significant engagement, Emmanuel Macron announced in June a reduction of the French military presence in the Sahel with the end of the anti-jihadist operation Barkhane. It must give way to a tightened system, refocused on counterterrorism operations and combat support for local armies, around an international alliance involving 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.