Nigerian Army desert and special warfare troops, dressed up in desert camouflage uniforms, strike a group pose with Mali’s President Traore during a visit to their positions at the strategically important town of Nara, west-central Mali, close to a very sensitive stretch of border with the neighbouring republic of Mauritania.
PHOTO CREDIT: aBAMAKO
The 70,000-strong Mbera Refugee Camp for Malian refugees is believed to hold a large number of ‘displaced’ Malian insurgents and terrorists. The Nigerian detachment stationed at Nara, near the Mauritanian border, are therefore an interposition force to prevent a possible and hitherto attempted rebel advance on Bamako, the Malian capital using Nara as staging post.
The remote border-facing region between Mbera and Nema in southeeastern Mauritania is believed to be teeming with guerrillas who have been uprooted by the military offensive against rebel groups in Mali.
Nigerian and Malian troops are jointly deployed to the nodal town whose strategic value in the security of the national capital Bamako and the overall stability of Mali cannot be over-emphasized.
Nigerian troops are also deployed in the towns of Rere and Banamba.