Snapshots

In Mali, a Coup at the Core of the Sahel's Counterterrorism Fight

Aug 20, 2020 | 16:42 GMT

The overthrow of Mali's president in a military coup casts further doubt over the county's ability to sustain counterterrorism efforts, and while the new junta is promising national elections, longstanding civil-military tensions suggest international pressure will be instrumental in shaping the timeline for government formation. President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita announced his resignation around midnight local time on Aug. 19 after being arrested by members of the military earlier in the day along with a number of other officials. Keita's downfall risks undermining French-led efforts to contain jihadist activity in the region by creating more space for international terrorism cooperation among the radical groups, including local al Qaeda and Islamic State affiliates. While the most significant risk of increased terrorist activity is in Mali itself, reduced cooperation as a result of the president's forced exit will also undermine counterterrorism efforts in both Burkina Faso and Niger. ...

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