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Updated Feb 24, 2020

Analysts for the United Nations peacekeeping operation in Mali, MINUSMA, have expressed concern over the emergence of a new jihadist group in the Nampala region of central Mali, which has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State and claimed responsibility for several deadly attacks against Malian security forces in late January.

The new group is primarily composed of the nomadic Peul ethnic group, the bulk of Amadou Kouffa’s Katiba Macina group, which is affiliated with the Group for the Support of Islam and Muslims (GSIM), led by Tuareg militant Iyad ag Ghali. Other members of Katiba Macina have left to join up with Adnan Abu Walid al Sahrawi’s Islamic State in the Greater Sahara. These developments could potentially undermine efforts by the Malian government to negotiate with Kouffa and ag Ghali in an effort to curtail the violence that has plagued Mali since 2012.

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