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France and Mali apply dual strategy to Sahel jihadists

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Significance

The initiative follows the release of a Human Rights Watch report documenting atrocities in central Mali resulting from inter-communal and jihadist violence, which has spread beyond central Mali into neighbouring Burkina Faso and Niger. France is now leading efforts to recruit European and other forces to counter Islamic State in Greater Sahara (ISGS), which operates in the tri-border area between Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger.

Impacts

  • Military operations against ISGS in the border area could displace some jihadists into Benin, Togo and Ghana.
  • Public protests in the Sahel region against French counter-terrorism operations are unlikely to abate.
  • Chad will aim to extract more funding from France for its participation in counter-terrorism operations.
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