2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division "Spartans"
- Alpha Company, First Battalion 30th Infantry Reg, 3rd Infantry Division
- 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division
- Coalition Support elements (US Forces)
Territory Name: Mopti is the fifth administrative region of Mali, covering 79,017 km2. Its capital is the city of Mopti. During the 2012 Northern Mali conflict, the frontier between Southern Mali which is controlled by the central government and the rebel-held North ran through the Mopti Region.
Territory Intel: Mopti is the fifth administrative region of Mali. The population in the 2009 census was 2,037,330. The region contains a number of ethnic groups, including Bozo, Songhai, Dogon, Fulani, Malinke, and Bambara.
The Niger River crosses the region, and is joined by the Bani, an important tributary, at the city of Mopti.
The region is separated into several areas: the Inland Niger Delta around Mopti, the Bandiagara cliffs and the plain of Bankass along the Burkina Faso frontier. Mount Hombori, the highest point in Mali at 1153 meters, is in the Mopti Region, near the city of the same name.
The Mopti region is known to be one of the last strong bastions of African terrorist groups. With its dense jungle, empty flat desert area and mountain plateau, the diversity of the terrain makes it a difficult terrain to navigate and fight on. Many small villages are dispersed all around the area, making it a perfect place to hide assets. It will be like looking for a needle in a haystack.
2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division "Spartans" will be deployed in the Agadez region first. In order to help and consolidate the Agadez Airbase. Once the Airbase is out of danger, 3rd Infantry Division “Spartans” will be redeployed to the Mopti region in order to secure the region.
- 400 km² of sand, rocks and nature.
- Based on real word area in the "Ennedi Massif".
- Size: 16km x 16km
- Gridsize: 2048x2048
- Cellsize: 4
- 20 km long River
- Two uncovered sand airfields
- 50 villages
- 1.7 million objects placed (all placed with MapBuilder)
Early 1990s: War of independence for northern Mali
In the early 1990s Tuareg and Arab nomads formed the People's Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MPA) and declared war for independence of the northern part of Mali.
Despite peace agreements with the government of Mali in 1991 and 1995 a growing dissatisfaction among the former Tuareg fighters, who had been integrated into the Military of Mali, led to new fighting in 2007.
Despite historically having difficulty maintaining alliances between secular and Islamist factions the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad allied itself with the Islamist groups Ansar Dine and Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and began the 2012 Northern Mali conflict.
January - April 2012: Tuareg Rebellion
From January to April 2012, a war was waged against the Malian government by rebels with the goal of attaining independence for the northern region of Mali, known as Azawad.
It was led by the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) and was part of a series of insurgencies by traditionally nomadic Tuaregs which date back at least to 1916.
The MNLA was formed by former insurgents and a significant number of heavily armed Tuaregs who fought in the Libyan Civil War.
June - November 2012: Islamist-nationalist conflict
Both the Islamists and MNLA formed an alliance in combating the Malian government. An internal conflict sprung up over the imposing of sharia law in the new state and the MNLA is distancing itself from the coalition to a democratic state.
Islamists gained popularity amongst anti-Tuareg tribes that helped it overthrow MNLA authority in Gao. Both sides clashed repeatedly leading to the Battle of Gao, where the MNLA was driven from the North's two main cities, Gao and Timbuktu.
The MNLA soon lost all of its strongholds in the North in a matter of months.
January 2013: Foreign Intervention
Following requests from both the Mali government and ECOWAS for foreign military intervention, on 12 October 2012 the United Nations Security Council unanimously, under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, passed a French resolution approving an African-led force to assist the army of Mali in combating the Islamist militants.
The resolution gave 45 days for "detailed and actionable recommendations" for a military intervention which would be drafted by ECOWAS and the African Union, with a figure of 3,000 proposed troops reported.
Islamist and Tuareg forces were reported to have retreated to the Adrar des Ifoghas, rugged badlands in northeastern Mali. Knowledge of and control over local sources of water is expected to play a vital role in the continuing conflict in that area.
- The conflict began it’s Guerrilla phase.
- A peace deal between the government and Tuareg rebels was signed on 18 June 2013.
September 2013: End of the ceasefire
The MNLA ended the ceasefire in September of the same year after government forces opened fire on unarmed protesters.
Following the attack, MNLA vice-president Mahamadou Djeri Maiga remarked: "What happened is a declaration of war. We will deliver this war. Wherever we find the Malian army we will launch the assault against them. It will be automatic. The warnings are over."
One of the MNLA's founders, Attaye Ag Mohamed, was also quoted as saying that the "political and military wings of the Azawad" had declared "the lifting of the ceasefire with the central government"
In the first half of 2018, there was an increase in rebel attacks. As of July 2018, northern Mali was largely out of government control.
2021: French withdrawal from the Mopti region and the Agadez attack.
The situation in central Africa has been tense for the last 20 years, War chiefs and rebels have been fighting over territories, contesting the local forces and authorities. Worse, a lot of those War Chiefs and rebels became terrorist Islamist groups, pledging allegiance to Al-Qaïda or ISIS. France tried to help Sahel’s countries, but with a high number of losses and a conflict everlasting, they quickly lowered the numbers of deployed personnel there, leaving a vast area out of control.
The US has a history of having troops deployed in Africa, but mostly on the “Horn of Africa”, in Somalia and in Djibouti. Nevertheless, the United States helped France during operation Barkhane, offering no less than 800 US military personnel to work toward building a drone base in Agadez, and also deployed Green Berets to train local armies.
With the withdrawal of French troops, the local terrorist groups got a boost in confidence, launching an armed assault on the not-yet finished drone base of Agadez, killing 15 US personnel in the attack. Drone Reports also state that at least 2 US personnel have been taken hostage and have been sent to central Mali.
US President Joe Biden, freshly introduced into his mandate, stated that this attack is an attack against the United States, and toward a free world. Needless to say that the 46th president needs to affirm his position with this attack, and cannot stay passive. He ordered the deployment of a force in central Africa, and negotiated an area of operation in central Mali, where the now withdrawn french forces were previously deployed.
The Secretary of Defense dispatched more resources to the U.S. AFRICOM, and tasked it to enter direct combat with local Islamist and rebel groups, including Al-Qaïda, ISIS and Boko Haram. General Stephen J. Townsend said that “the life of the two hostages is of utmost importance and saving them is a top priority”. He also stated that terrorist groups in the area will be hunted in order to free the population of the actions of local terrorist groups.
2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division "Spartans" will be deployed in the Mopti region, where the two hostages were last sighted. The Report also states the presence of multiple leaders of different Islamist groups. With the weakening foreign military presence in the region, Al-Qaïda and ISIS made a truce.
The Mopti region is known to be one of the last strong bastions of African terrorist groups. With its dense jungle and empty flat desert area, the duality of the terrain makes it a difficult terrain to navigate and fight on. Many small villages are dispersed all around the area, making it a perfect place to hide assets. It will be like looking for a needle in a haystack.
Main Story Line
On 11Apr2021 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division "Spartans" will be deployed to Niger. First, to the Agadez region in order to reinforce the area and secure the airbase. They are part of the quick reaction force (QRF) attached to the AFRICOM for the operation Silver Guardian. With the taking of two US hostages, and the death of 15 US Army personnel, the secretary of defense decided to launch an offensive to help European powers already deployed, and to retrieve hostages. Once the Agadez air base and its vicinity is secured, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division "Spartans" will be redeployed to the Mopti region, in central Mali, where most of the fighting takes place.