26 Feb 2021

Several soldiers killed in central Mali attack

A military official has said nine soldiers have been killed near the central Malian town of Bandiagara. The death toll had previously been stated as eight after the attack on a gendarmerie post Thursday night. Nine more Malian soldiers were also injured, five of them seriously after a long exchange

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09 Oct 2020

French hostage Sophie Pétronin released in Mali after 1,381 days in captivity

After nearly four years in captivity, a French aid worker named Sophie Pétronin has been released in Mali. Pétronin was kidnapped in 2016 at the age of 72 while running a charity for children in Gao, Mali, who were suffering from malnutrition. Pétronin was captured by Islamic extremists and was

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21 Aug 2020

Mali coup leader was trained by U.S. military, officers say

Colonel Assimi Goita, the Malian who staged a coup against the sitting president, who exited office peacefully, worked with US Special Operations. Officers state that Goita was trained by US military forces, including the US Army. Goita and several others marched to the President’s quarters and forcibly removed him from

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27 Mar 2019

Mali’s security crisis: A cycle of exploitation and corruption

Analysts are warning that the recent massacre of around 160 members of the predominantly Muslim Fulani herding community in central Mali is part of a security crisis in the country and the broader Sahel region. Over the past few years, militant groups linked to al-Qaeda have terrorized parts of Mali

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22 Oct 2018

The role of women in West Africa’s violent extremist groups

A recent publication from the Institute for Security Studies has examined the role that women have played in West Africa’s violent extremist groups. Ranging from their abduction and use as a tool to entice men to join extremist ranks to willing participators in activities from operations and suicide attacks, their

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30 Jul 2018

Violence disrupted vote in a fifth of Malian polling stations

“Armed attacks or other violence” disrupted voting at 4,632 of the 23,000 polling stations on Sunday’s election in Mali, while 644 polling stations were completely unable to operate. The country continues to reel from insecurity driven by jihadist violence, and elections continue to be prime targets for destabilizing actors in

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20 Jul 2018

UN: In West Africa and the Sahel, signs of democratic progress amid continued ‘devastating’ violence

The UN has announced progress in building democratic institutions in Western Africa, although these gains remain in competition with the ongoing threat of terrorism and terrorist groups. Increasingly, violence pitting farmers against herders has become a leading threat in many areas, in addition to the well-known conflicts driven by groups

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22 Jun 2018

Why the Sahara is terror’s new front line

From West to East, the massive desert has formed a vast battlefield between militants, populations, national governments, and foreign powers. This picture-heavy BBC publication on the situation highlights the actors and the complex situational landscape that has become a growing priority for the U.S. and its supporters in the war

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11 Feb 2013

West Africa: Terrorism’s New Front Yard

Introduction There is a new front in the global fight against terrorism and terrorists. Ethnic, religious, and political tensions in West Africa, simmering for the past few years, have boiled over into widespread violence and coordinated military efforts throughout the region. A recent attack at an oil facility in Algeria

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