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“1:15 p.m. on Sunday”.  “My war in Mali, far from you” > Episodes 3 & 4 – France 2 – June 19, 2022

This series in four episodes of the magazine “1:15 p.m. on Sunday” (Twitter, #1:15 p.m.), signed Dorothée Olliéric, Vincent Fichmann, Florian Le Moal and Nicolas Berthelot, offers a rare document on the French army in Mali at a time when France and its European partners have formalized their military withdrawal from the country. Barchan, and before that Serval, had more than 5,000 soldiers, including 2,000 deployed in the so-called “three borders” region: Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger. Soldiers on the front line against jihadists for over nine years, of whom 53 have died in combat.

Philibert, Christophe and Amélie were followed for six months, from their military training until their departure for Mali. Their mission lasted four months in the field, during which they experienced moments of fatigue, tensions related to the risk of attack, but also moments of comfort when they could contact their loved ones for brief phone calls…

Suicide attacks, “improvised explosive devices“, artisanal mining…

When Philibert, Christophe and Amélie signed to go to this region, they did not know that it would be their last OPEX (external operation) in Mali. The gradual disengagement of French forces in the Sahel had not yet been announced by the French head of state. The convoy that they are accompanying and securing will cover more than 500 kilometres. A high-risk mission…

The track that connects Gao to Tessalit, in northern Mali, is extremely dangerous: suicide attacks, “improvised explosive devices” (IED or IED in English), artisanal mines hidden by jihadists on the route, not to mention sandstorms and crushing heat. And during this time, their loved ones begin to count, in France, the days which separate them from the return…

> Replays of France Télévisions news magazines are available on the Franceinfo website and its mobile application (iOS & Android), “Magazines” section.

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