In January 2012 an armed conflict broke out in northern Mali, which Tuareg rebels took control by April and declared the secession of a new state, Azawad. The conflict was complicated by a military coup that took place in March and later fighting between Tuareg and Islamist rebels. In response to Islamist terrorist gains the French military launched Operation Serval in Jan 2013. A month later, Malian and French forces recaptured most of the north.
In July, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita won the presidential elections, defeating Moussa Marra and France formally hands over responsibility for security in the North to the MINUSMA force.
This recent and on-going armed conflict in Mali created the problem of weapon and explosive contamination, which is impacting on the civilian population and stabilization efforts. This impact includes the potential loss of life and injury of people within affected communities but also the safe return of refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). TDI partnered with Optima Group to deliver Counter IED Training and IED awareness to MINUSMA Forces.
The project mobilised on the 15th of September and operations began on the 22nd of September 2014.
“Operations have commenced and we are pleased with the results coming out of this project already,” Says Ian Anderson, TDI Desk Officer for Mali
TDI currently has 6 Survey and EOD teams working in support of UNMAS with teams located in Gao, Timbuktu, Ansango, Kidal, Menaka and Tienteintibou.