How Western Mali Could Become A Gold Mine For Terrorists


A flourishing gold mining economy in Kayes offers violent extremist groups an opportunity to expand their membership and reach. On 9 April 2020, al-Qaeda-affiliated groups operating in the Sahel attacked a security and customs post on the Bamako-Kayes road in Mali’s western Kayes region. Four months later, on 5 August, groups attacked another post located on the Nioro-Kayes stretch. These and other incidents signal that the region, which borders Guinea, Mauritania and Senegal, is increasingly becoming a hotbed of extremist violence. On 8 February 2021, Senegalese authorities announced that they had dismantled a katiba Macina support cell, in the border town of Kidira, just across the…

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