Soldiers rampaging through villages in Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso have unlawfully killed or forcibly disappeared at least 199 people between February and April 2020, Amnesty International said in a new briefing. Some of the killings amount to extrajudicial executions and among the victims are internally displaced persons. The deliberate killings of unarmed civilians by security forces could meet the qualification of war crimes. (Photo: Magharebia via Wikimedia Commons)
Attacks by Islamist militants, military operations, and waves of inter-communal violence have left hundreds dead and tens of thousands displaced since January in Burkina Faso, triggering an “unprecedented” humanitarian crisis that has caught many by surprise. Homegrown militant groups, as well as extremists linked to al-Qaeda and ISIS, have been operating in the country’s north since 2016, but have expanded to new fronts. As the state struggles to contain the insurgencies, a growing number of “self-defense” militias have mobilized, escalating ethnic tensions in a country once considered a beacon of coexistence and tolerance in West Africa. (Photo: The New Humanitarian)
Libya's National Oil Corporation is warning of an "environmental disaster" following clashes at the country's Ras Lanuf oil terminal that set storage tanks on fire. “Further damage to these oil sites could have a huge impact on the Libyan oil sector and the national economy.," the statement said. The Petroleum Facilities Guard launched an operation in Libya's "oil crescent" last week to take the Ras Lanuf and Sidra terminals from the Operation Dignity militia alliance, which they termed a “a terrorist entity.” Operation Dignity and the affiliated "Libyan National Army," led by commander Khalifa Haftar, are loyal to Libya's unrecognized eastern government. (Photo: Libya Observer)
A new Qaeda-affiliated faction, the Group for Support of Islam and Muslims (JNIM), is attempting to re-unify the fragmented jihadist insurgency in Mali's desert north.
Installation of an interim authority in Timbuktu under a peace deal with Tuareg rebels in Mali's desert north was blocked as hardline factions erected street barricades.
With the Tuareg movement divided on whether to accept an autonomy offer from Mali's government, jihadist insurgents seek to rebuild an alliance with the intransigent factions.
The US is investing at least $50 million in a military air base in Niger that will be capable of deploying drones to police the greater Sahara and Sahel regions.
Gunmen from al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) claimed responsibility for the attack on a beach resort in Ivory Coast that killed 14 civilians and two soldiers.
Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb issued a statement saying the Ouagadougou attack was carried out by "mujahideen brothers" of its West African franchise, al-Mourabitoun.
The deadly hotel siege in Mali's capital was apparently ordered by Algerian militant Mokhtar Belmokhtar—who was twice reported killed in military operations over the past two years.
The latest edition of the English-language ISIS magazine Dabiq includes a tirade against Qaeda-aligned forces in Libya, amid an internecine war of jihadist factions.
Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and related networks are said to control Saharan smuggling routes for Moroccan hashish to fund their regional operations.