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Iyad ag Ghali is key obstacle to Mali peace process

Friday, July 14, 2017


A profile of Iyad ag Ghali.


Ghali emerged as the new al-Qaida leader in Mali in March 2017 following his installation as the head of the Group to Support Islam and Muslims (GSIM), a jihadi alliance of four al-Qaida affiliates. The group formally pledged its allegiance to Ayman al-Zawahiri, the head of al-Qaida following the killing of Osama bin Laden by US forces in Pakistan. Ghali has transformed from a nationalist leader to the leader of a transnational jihadist group whose attacks in Mali have been spreading.


  • Ghali will be the greatest obstacle to the peace process in northern Mali.
  • His effective leadership and military successes in Mali could see him become al-Qaida’s leader and strategist for West Africa.
  • Ghali's fighters will continue targeting security forces and kidnapping foreign nationals associated with Western entities.

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