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Political tensions surged as govt took series of authoritarian decisions, closing political space and putting inter-Malian dialogue at risk; civilians continued to be targeted by conflict actors.

Govt suspended civil society activities and elections. Series of decisions highlighted govt’s increasing authoritarian turn and caused tensions to soar. Authorities 10 April suspended all political activities of political parties and politically-oriented activities of associations until further notice; PM Maïga same day announced elections would be suspended until country regained political stability. Meanwhile, authorities following day announced suspension of all media coverage related to political parties. In response, numerous parties and civil society groups 22 April submitted appeal to Supreme Court, and others announced intention to boycott inter-Malian dialogue (see below) until restrictions removed.

Phase one of Inter-Malian dialogue commenced. Communal level discussions took place 13-15 April. However, concerns remained over inclusiveness and legitimacy of process with neither separatist armed groups of Permanent Strategic Framework (CSP) nor jihadist groups taking part, and other key political actors boycotting dialogue. 

Amid jihadist attacks and counterinsurgency operations, violence left high toll on civilians. Clashes between armed forces, Russian paramilitary Africa Corps (formerly known as Wagner Group) and militants continued. Notably, in centre, al-Qaeda-affiliated Group for the Support of Islam and Muslims (JNIM) 7 April attacked army and Russian paramilitaries near Sarakala village, Segou region, resulting in at least six militant fatalities. Govt forces 22-23 April conducted operation south of Kalifaré, Timbuktu region, killing 29 JNIM militants. In Menaka region, army 29 April announced killing of senior Islamic State Sahel province commander Abu Huzeifa near Indelimane village. Meanwhile, JNIM and CSP 5 April clashed near Nampala village, Mopti region, resulting in at least 23 CSP and nineteen JNIM fighters killed. Army and Africa Corps reportedly involved in several attacks against civilians with forces alleged to have killed up to 26 civilians in Mopti and Segou regions in incidents 3, 7 and 12 April. Suspected JNIM militants 16 April kidnapped 110 civilians aboard public bus between Bandiagara and Bankass towns, Mopti region; dozens of hostages reportedly released 24 April after local authorities allegedly signed informal agreements with jihadist group.



Govt-sponsored inter-Malian dialogue took initial steps amid ongoing stifling of civic and political rights; jihadist and other armed violence continued.

Initial phase of dialogue approved, albeit without main rebel and jihadist groups. Piloting Committee 4 March submitted terms of reference for Inter-Malian dialogue process to transitional President Col. Goïta, following approval from representatives from capital Bamako, regions and diaspora; participants agreed on five thematic committees covering peace and reconciliation, security, economic development, geopolitical issues and political reforms. Several key actors remained outside process including main rebel and jihadist groups; govt 8 March imposed initial six-months long financial sanctions on two leaders associated with al-Qaeda-affiliated Group for the Support of Islam and Muslims (JNIM), and four from Permanent Strategic Framework (CSP), coalition of armed groups from 2015 Algiers Accord. 

Concerns rose over restrictions on civil and political freedoms. Govt 6 March dissolved influential group Coordination of Movements, Associations and Sympathizers (CMAS) – led by well-known figure and vocal govt critic Imam Mahmoud Dicko – and 13 March shut down Association of Malian Students. National Human Rights Commission 6 March expressed concerns about “serious threats” to political freedoms, especially freedom of association; UN human rights body 13 March also condemned moves. Meanwhile, over 80 political parties and civil society groups 31 March called for end to transition and organisation of presidential elections as soon as possible.

Violence by jihadist and other armed groups remained high. Notably, Islamic State Sahel Province militants 6 March attacked army base in Labbezanga, Gao region, leaving at least four attackers dead; JNIM shelling targeted airports in Gao city 16 March and Timbuktu city two days later, causing injuries and material damage. Alliance of Sahel States 6 March announced creation of joint counterterrorism force to combat regional jihadist insurgency and address shared security needs. Meanwhile, Dozo militia 8 March reportedly abducted and killed around 30 Fulani near Kingolola village, Segou region.

In other important developments. Hundreds 16 March protested high cost of living and insecurity in Ménaka city. Officials 19 March visited Russia’s capital Moscow for discussions on security cooperation and expanding partnership in commerce, transportation, and more.



West African regional bloc urged govt to remain within group as Bamako insisted exit was immediate; authorities remained embroiled in conflict with 2015 peace agreement signatories and jihadist groups.

ECOWAS took conciliatory approach to Sahel trio’s exit. After Mali, alongside Niger and Burkina Faso, late Jan announced withdrawal from Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), regional bloc 8 Feb called on trio to “prioritise dialogue and reconciliation”, and ECOWAS chairman, Nigerian President Tinubu, 24 Feb urged departing countries to “reconsider the decision”. Tinubu’s comments were made at extraordinary ECOWAS summit, during which bloc lifted most coup sanctions on Niger (see Niger) and restrictions on recruitment of Malians into ECOWAS institutions. Conciliatory approach has yet to bear fruit, however, with Bamako 7 Feb arguing trio does not need to respect one-year withdrawal period, and all three countries 15 Feb reiterating decision to leave ECOWAS was irreversible.

Conflict between govt forces and rebel groups continued in north. After terminating 2015 Algiers peace agreement in Jan, transitional president, Col. Goïta, 5 Feb installed steering committee in charge of preparing inter-Malian dialogue for peace and reconciliation; committee president 20 Feb said armed groups “must lay down arms” to participate. Under pressure from community leaders and economic operators, coalition of 2015 Algiers Accord signatory armed groups, Permanent Strategic Framework, 11 Feb lifted two-month blockade on Timbuktu and Gao towns.

Jihadist violence remained high in north, centre and west. After al-Qaeda-affiliated Group for the Support of Islam and Muslims (JNIM) late Jan intensified attacks in north, notably targeting two army positions in Timbuktu region, govt forces and Russian paramilitary Wagner Group reportedly stepped up violence against civilians, with seven killed 1 Feb in Djounhane village, Kidal region, and at least eight others killed 5 Feb in Dianké town, Timbuktu region. In centre, JNIM 3 Feb attacked N’Donuna village in Ségou region, leaving ten Dozo militiamen dead, and 8, 20 Feb raided army positions in Melga village, Kayes region, and Niono town, Ségou region, killing at least five soldiers. In neighbouring Nara region, sophisticated jihadist attack on Kwala military outpost reportedly left 30 soldiers reportedly killed.



Bamako announced withdrawal from West African regional bloc alongside Burkina Faso and Niger, dealing blow to regional integration; junta also ended 2015 Algiers Accord with separatist rebels.

Junta announced leaving ECOWAS, defying pressure to restore constitutional rule. Junta leaders of Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger 28 Jan announced leaving ECOWAS, denouncing “inhumane” sanctions imposed by regional bloc following coups. ECOWAS immediately said three countries were “important members of the Community” and bloc “remains committed to finding a negotiated solution to the political impasse”; also said it had not yet received formal withdrawal notification.

Bamako terminated 2015 Algiers peace agreement, launched own peace initiative. Amid resumption of hostilities in northern Mali in recent months, coalition of 2015 Algiers Accord signatory armed groups, Permanent Strategic Framework (CSP), 2 Jan rejected junta-proposed inter-Malian dialogue for peace and reconciliation, denouncing manoeuvre to definitively invalidate Algiers accord and sideline international mediation. Diplomatic spat with Algiers over Algeria’s mediation role persisted despite Algerian ambassador returning to Bamako 5 Jan and Malian ambassador returning to Algeria 7 Jan. Junta 25 Jan declared “immediate termination” of Algiers Accord, accusing Algeria of interfering in its affairs, and next day issued decree establishing committee to organise national peace and reconciliation dialogue.

State violence against civilians continued amid conflict with jihadist groups. In north, air force 5 Jan carried out drone strike against civilian vehicles in Almoustarat area, Gao region, killing three; govt forces and Russian paramilitary Wagner Group 9 Jan burned several encampments for internally displaced persons in Tabagart village, Timbuktu region, and reportedly killed ten people after abducting them. In centre, army and Wagner group 2 Jan reportedly killed at least ten civilians on outskirts of Touara village, Ségou region. Explosive device likely planted by al-Qaeda-affiliated Group for the Support of Islam and Muslims (JNIM) militants 5 Jan killed five civilians in Ogossagou village, Mopti region.

In another important development. FM Abdoulaye Diop 12 Jan said withdrawal of UN mission (MINUSMA) was nearly complete with 95% peacekeepers gone and all assets transferred to state. 



As UN mission completed troops drawdown, jihadist and rebel blockades in north increased hardship facing civilians, and jihadist attacks targeted army positions in various regions.

Authorities faced challenges as they took steps to cement control of Kidal region. Govt late Nov-early Dec sent hundreds of soldiers and police to help enforce order in Kidal region after recently capturing regional capital from coalition of 2015 Algiers Accord signatory armed groups Permanent Strategic Framework (CSP) – which includes Coordination of Azawad Movements separatists. New Kidal governor Gen. El Hadj Ag Gamo – tutelary figure of pro-govt signatory armed group, Imghad Tuareg Self-Defence Group and Allies – took office 13 Dec. Troops 20 Dec moved into rural town of Aguelhok and regained control of only vacated UN mission (MINUSMA) camp that had come under CSP control. In leaked document dated 8 Dec, CSP announced blockade on roads leading to major northern towns of Menaka, Kidal, Gao, Timbuktu and Taoudeni in effort to step up pressure on govt forces. Meanwhile, MINUSMA completed drawdown of troops with handover of Sévaré base (Mopti region) and Timbuktu camp on 8 and 28 Dec, respectively.

Jihadist violence continued in north and centre. Jihadist groups 3 Dec launched spate of attacks mainly on military targets in northern regions. Notably, Islamic State Sahel Province (IS Sahel) attacks in Ménaka town (Ménaka region) and Labbezanga army base (Gao region) left at least 33 soldiers and three civilians dead; 14 militants also killed, including prominent leader Adamou Diallo. Suspected al-Qaeda-affiliated Group for the Support of Islam and Muslims (JNIM) same day attacked other military posts including Tessalit (Kidal region). JNIM 11 Dec reinstated blockade on Timbuktu town after easing it in Nov following negotiations with local elites. In Ségou region in centre, suspected JNIM militants 12 Dec killed at least 30 soldiers, allied militiamen and civilians in Farabougou village and nearby military camp.

In other important developments. West African regional bloc ECOWAS 10 Dec lifted travel restrictions on key transition officials and refrained from denouncing electoral delays. Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger 1 Dec announced forming three-state confederation and establishing stabilisation fund, investment bank and eventually common currency.



In latest blow to 2015 peace agreement, army seized strategic town of Kidal from former separatist armed groups; fighting for control of vast northern region will likely continue in coming weeks.

Army captured formerly separatist armed groups’ stronghold of Kidal. After UN mission (MINUSMA) left Kidal base earlier than planned on 31 Oct, govt forces and Russian paramilitary Wagner Group 11-13 Nov clashed with members of Permanent Strategic Framework (CSP), coalition of armed groups signatory to 2015 Algiers Accord, around latter’s stronghold of Kidal; death toll unknown. Transitional President Col. Goïta 14 Nov announced army had seized Kidal town, celebrating major victory; Goïta’s speech was less triumphalist than expected, however, giving credence to idea that maintaining control of Kidal and upcoming campaign for rural areas in Kidal region, where CSP and jihadist groups remain implanted, may be more difficult. Govt forces 16 Nov claimed discovering mass grave in Kidal, accused CSP members of committing atrocities; CSP rejected allegation. Govt and Wagner forces continued to face criticism for impact of northern campaign on local populations. Notably, reports emerged that govt airstrikes 7 Nov killed civilians including children in Kidal town, and that govt forces and Wagner elements 12 Nov executed dozens of detainees in Tonka town, Timbuktu region. Lacking armoured protection or air cover during withdrawal, MINUSMA continued to suffer attacks: UN peacekeepers traveling from Kidal to Gao town 1-3 Nov encountered six explosive devices, leaving at least 37 injured. MINUSMA 18 Nov handed over Ansongo camp, Gao region, to Malian authorities.

Jihadist violence continued in centre and north. In northern Timbuktu region, Al-Qaeda-affiliated Group for the Support of Islam and Muslims (JNIM) 24 Nov launched simultaneous attacks on army positions in Niafunké and Goundam towns; JNIM claimed taking control of Niafunké camp and killing around 50 soldiers, while military said they repelled attacks. Meanwhile, conflict gave rise to intercommunal violence and abuses, notably in centre. Suspected Dan Na Ambassagou militiamen 2 Nov killed four Fulani pastoralists in Sévaré town, Mopti region. Malian and Wagner troops 7 Nov allegedly killed 12 people near Molodo and Diabaly towns, Ségou region.



Military authorities appeared committed to taking control of 2015 peace deal signatories’ stronghold of Kidal, and could launch offensive in days or weeks to come.

Escalation between former rebel groups and govt forces continued in north. In Kidal region, govt and allied Russian paramilitary Wagner Group 7 Oct carried out strikes and took control of Anefis town from Permanent Strategic Framework (CSP), which gathers northern armed groups signatory to 2015 peace agreement. As part of second phase of withdrawal, UN mission (MINUSMA) mid-Oct started leaving Tessalit and Aguelhok camps in Kidal region; two Malian military planes that landed in Tessalit to take control of base 16 Oct came under fire from CSP-affiliated Coordination of Azawad Movements (CMA), who worry arrival of Malian troops in Tessalit may be last step before offensive on Kidal town. CSP 31 Oct claimed takeover of vacated MINUSMA camp in Kidal town. Meanwhile in Gao region, CMA 2 and 4 Oct claimed seizing Bamba and Taoussa bases from army. Divisions emerged within CSP as founding member Movement for the Salvation of Azawad (MSA) late Sept announced departure from coalition over CMA’s bellicose stance toward govt; MSA Sec Gen 8 Oct said conflict only benefited jihadists, and several other CSP members also expressed commitment to peace.

Jihadist violence continued in centre and north. In centre, al-Qaeda-affiliated Group for the Support of Islam and Muslims (JNIM) 7 Oct ambushed soldiers near Batouma, Douentza region, killing 16, and 10 Oct ambushed joint convoy of army, Dan Na Ambassagou militiamen, and Wagner near Sibo village, Bandiagara region, claiming to have killed ten. Civilians continued to pay heavy toll in north. Wagner 8 Oct allegedly killed seven civilians in Takoukate village, Kidal region, while Wagner and govt forces 15 Oct reportedly killed six civilians and committed sexual abuse in Agumeimin and Tichilit villages, Timbuktu region.

Political tensions continued around postponed presidential election. Prominent religious and political figure, Imam Mahmoud Dicko, convened demonstration for 13 Oct in capital Bamako to protest indefinite delay to presidential election, while pro-govt civil society organisation called for counterprotest; authorities 9 Oct banned both gatherings, citing “high risk of unrest”.



Ruling junta postponed presidential election due in February, further pushing back timeline for return to constitutional order; violence escalated between 2015 peace deal signatories, while jihadists stepped up deadly attacks in north.

Military junta extended transition period. Transition authorities 25 Sept announced delaying February 2024 presidential election without setting new date, citing “technical issues” related to adoption of new constitution in June referendum and review of electoral lists. Move sparked outrage from political and civil society groups. Notably, M5-RFP opposition coalition 27 Sept denounced “unilateral” decision, said it is “imperative” that junta “respects its commitments”.

Parties to 2015 peace agreement engaged in intense fighting in northern regions. As UN mission 1 Sept started second phase of withdrawal, alliance of predominantly Tuareg rebel groups, Coordination of Azawad Movements (CMA), 11 Sept said it considered itself “at war” with Bamako, and in following days claimed several gains. CMA 12 Sept claimed seizing control of military camp and posts near Bourem town (Gao region) from army and Russian Wagner Group paramilitaries; 17 Sept said they temporarily seized two army bases near Léré town (Timbuktu region); and 28 Sept announced capturing Dioura military camp (Mopti region in centre) before withdrawing.

Jihadist violence escalated in northern regions, persisted in centre. Al-Qaeda-affiliated Group for the Support of Islam and Muslims (JNIM) maintained blockade on Timbuktu city in protest at army deployment in region, creating food and aid shortages. Elsewhere in north, JNIM militants 7 Sept attacked river boat near Abakoira village, Timbuktu region, as well as Bamba military camp, Gao region, killing at least 64 people including 49 civilians and 15 soldiers. JNIM next day launched complex attack targeting Malian army and Wagner base near Gao airport, reportedly killing up to 37 Malian soldiers. Islamic State Sahel Province militants 13 Sept attacked Tannal village, Ménaka region, killing 20 people. Fighting also continued in central regions. Notably, JNIM 6 Sept killed a dozen Wagner elements in ambush near Pogo town, Ségou region.

In other important developments. Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger 16 Sept signed charter creating Alliance of Sahel States.



Amid UN mission’s withdrawal, significant clashes erupted in north between govt forces and former rebels for first time since 2015 peace agreement; coming weeks could see more violence and collapse of peace process.

MINUSMA withdrawal put 2015 peace deal under threat. Permanent Strategic Framework, which gathers northern armed groups signatory to 2015 Algiers peace agreement with Bamako, 1 Aug warned about “serious imminent risks” associated with handover to Malian army of UN mission (MINUSMA) camps in areas controlled by signatory armed groups. In following days, major clashes erupted between alliance of former rebel groups Coordination of Azawad Movements (CMA) and military for first time since peace deal implementation. CMA alleged army and Russian paramilitary Wagner Group 4 Aug attacked CMA-controlled border post in Foyta locality (Timbuktu region) near Mauritania, killing two CMA elements; govt forces and CMA 11-12 Aug also clashed near MINUSMA camp in Ber (also Timbuktu region), leaving unclear number dead. MINUSMA 13 Aug accelerated withdrawal from Ber camp in light of security situation, completing it same day, and 16 Aug also left Goundam camp (Timbuktu). CMA 28-29 Aug accused army of launching airstrikes on CMA positions near Anefis town in Kidal region.

Jihadist violence continued in centre and north. Islamic State Sahel Province 3 Aug attacked army-escorted convoy in Essailal locality, Menaka region (north), killing at least six soldiers. Al-Qaeda-affiliated Group for the Support of Islam and Muslims (JNIM) 8 Aug imposed blockade on Timbuktu city, creating food and aid shortages, to oppose Malian army’s deployment in context of MINUSMA’s withdrawal. In Bandiagara region (centre), suspected JNIM elements 18 Aug raided Yarou village, killing 23 people.

In other important developments. Bamako and Ouagadougou 1 Aug warned West African regional bloc (ECOWAS) against any military intervention in Niger, saying it would amount to declaration of war against Mali and Burkina Faso. After Niger 6 Aug closed its airspace, French flag carrier Air France next day suspended all flights to and from Bamako (and Ouagadougou) citing “geopolitical situation in the Sahel”. In escalating row, France and Mali 7-9 Aug stopped issuing visas to each other’s nationals.



In likely attempt to assert power, Interim leader Col. Goïta conducted major cabinet reshuffle, while new constitution entered into force; violence remained elevated in central and northern regions.

President reshuffled cabinet, sidelining prominent figures of the transition. Interim President Col. Goïta 1 July carried out govt reshuffle, bringing 13 new ministers into govt. Reshuffle saw Goïta loyalists replace several ministers loyal to PM Choguel Maïga, and 2015 peace agreement signatory groups lose two out of four ministries; reshuffle also strengthened Goïta at the expense of four other colonels at the heart of power since May 2021 coup, including defence minister, Col. Sadio Camara.

IS Sahel faced resistance from signatory armed groups, rival jihadists in north. Presumed Islamic State Sahel Province (IS Sahel) militants 6 July attacked UN peacekeeping mission (MINUSMA) convoy near Ouatagouna town, Gao region, killing three civilians and wounding 14 people, including three peacekeepers. Also in Gao, al-Qaeda-linked Group for the Support of Islam and Muslims (JNIM) 8-9 July engaged IS Sahel fighters in Hourara, Tandadjdadjorane and Fitili villages, reportedly taking over some bases. 2015 peace accord signatory, Movement for the Salvation of Azawad, 11 July killed around ten civilians suspected of collusion with IS Sahel in Inazole village, Ménaka region.

Violence remained high in centre as govt sustained offensive against jihadists. In Mopti region (centre), govt forces and Russian paramilitary Wagner Group early July conducted air and group operation against JNIM in Sévéri village, killing at least seven militants. Also in Mopti, JNIM 2 July killed 28 ethnic Dogon Dan Na Ambassagou militiamen in Nouh-Bozo and Bangassi villages. In Ségou region, army 12 July allegedly killed at least 20 JNIM militants as they tried to ambush supply convoy in Sokolo area; and JNIM 27 July reportedly killed at least 12 civilians in Tiouga village.

In other important developments. Constitutional Court 21 July endorsed constitutional referendum, and Goïta next day promulgated new constitution. MINUSMA 3 July presented plan for mission’s withdrawal to FM Abdoulaye Diop; MINUSMA-govt joint working groups tasked with carrying out withdrawal by 31 Dec set up 11 July. Bamako 31 July expressed support for coup leaders in Niger (see Niger).

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