Mali

Since 2012, Mali has faced a volatile crisis as political armed groups, including ethnic based movements, jihadist groups and transnational criminal networks, fight for hegemony and the control of trafficking routes in the North. The 2015 peace agreement remains very difficult to implement and signatory groups still resort to violence to settle differences. Jihadist violence against security forces is increasing and militants have gone rural to capitalise on local conflicts and the absence of the State to secure safe havens and new recruits. Mali’s instability has regional consequences as violent extremism spills into neighbouring countries.  Through field research, timely reports and advocacy with regional and local actors, Crisis Group seeks to broaden understanding of the complex roots of violence in Mali via local, gendered and regional lenses and to find solutions to problems of governance.

CrisisWatch Mali

Unchanged Situation

Jihadists launched deadliest attack on military since 2019 and continued southward expansion; govt met with northern armed groups to discuss stalled implementation of 2015 peace accord; and relations with UN mission and France remained tense. Jihadist violence continued in north and centre. In north, Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS) militants 7 Aug attacked Tessit town (Gao region), killing 42 soldiers in deadliest attack on military since 2019; 37 militants also killed. In Ménaka region, ISGS 7-8 Aug killed 20 Tuareg civilians near Tahabanat village, 12 Aug killed another 20 people in Assaylal village. In centre, suspected al-Qaeda-affiliated Group for the Support of Islam and Muslims (JNIM) militants 5 Aug killed 12 civilians in Bankass circle (Bandiagara region). In Sikasso region (south), suspected JNIM fighters 7 Aug killed five police officers and kidnapped at least one other in complex ambush involving explosive device near Karangana town. Amid stalled implementation of 2015 Algiers Peace Accord, govt 1-5 Aug met signatory groups’ leaders, announced agreement on number of ex-combatants to be integrated into regular forces; signatory alliance of rebel groups Coordination of Azawad Movements however citicised agreement’s lack of clarity regarding role of armed group leaders in future integrated units. Interim President Col. Goïta around 22 Aug appointed another colonel, Abdoulaye Maiga, to act as PM in absence of civilian PM Choguel Maïga. Tensions continued to run high with UN mission (MINUSMA) and France. Germany (largest Western troop provider to MINUSMA) 12 Aug announced suspension of its military mission in country after Bamako in July suspended MINUSMA troop rotations. Govt next day announced resumption of MINUSMA troop rotations under new procedures, prompting Germany to resume military flights to Mali on 18 Aug. Attorney general 14 Aug charged 49 Ivorian soldiers arrested in July – upon arrival to work for MINUSMA contractor – with “attempting to undermine state security” (see Côte d’Ivoire). In 15 Aug letter to UN Security Council, FM Abdoulaye Diop called for emergency UN Security Council meeting to stop French “acts of aggression”, including alleged espionage, and accused France of supporting jihadists; last soldiers belonging to French Operation Barkhane same day left country.

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In The News

26 Jan 2022
Considering Ecowas’ recent failures to deter coups, what happened in Mali and Burkina Faso may inspire other officers in the region. Bloomberg

Ibrahim Yahaya Ibrahim

Consulting Analyst, Sahel
27 May 2021
Everyone seems obsessed with what is going on in Bamako, and that is another indication for the people in [Mali's] countryside that the state is not coming back. The Washington Post

Jean-Hervé Jezequel

Project Director, Sahel
25 Sep 2020
Mali has a lot of issues related to the Sahel. Al-Jazeera

Jean-Hervé Jezequel

Project Director, Sahel
19 Aug 2020
Eight years of effort, investment, presence to basically return to the situation of Mali at the time of the 2012 coup, with a confused situation in Bamako, more violent a... France24

Jean-Hervé Jezequel

Project Director, Sahel
7 Aug 2020
The composition of the national assembly is disputed. If the [Malian] president were to resign, it would mark a big jump into the void. The Economist

Ibrahim Yahaya Ibrahim

Consulting Analyst, Sahel
20 Jul 2020
[Mahmoud Dicko] has been able to position himself as this person who can channel the people's anger toward protest on several issues. Al Jazeera

Ibrahim Yahaya Ibrahim

Consulting Analyst, Sahel

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