What Happened: France is preparing for a new security mission in Mali to provide direct support to the country's military forces alongside other European special operations forces, RFI Afrique reported Nov. 6.
Why It Matters: French operations in the Sahel region have so far failed to contain violent conflict in the area, which has been expanding beyond the borders of Mali. However, it remains unclear how effective Paris' new mission will be as the Malian military has been ineffective in securing its own territory, while allegations of human rights abuses by security forces have undermined support for the military in rural areas.
Background: Jihadist activity has been spreading beyond the borders of Mali into Burkina Faso and Niger over the past year. France has taken the lead in fighting terrorist groups in the region, but it has been unable to prevent the spread of violence.
- In Nigeria, the Islamic State West African Province Gains Steam (Oct. 15, 2019)
- As Growing Militancy in the Sahel Encroaches, Can Niger Hold Strong? (July 19, 2019)
- Tracking Jihadist Movements in 2019: The Islamic State (Jan. 23, 2019)