Manon Elissa Murray est stagiaire au Centre des études de sécurité de l’Institut français des relations internationales (Ifri). Diplômée d’un Master de sécurité internationale de l’University College London, elle entreprend de se spécialiser sur le Moyen-Orient en poursuivant des études d’arabe à l’Institut national des langues et civilisations orientales (INALCO). Elle livre ici son éclairage sur les origines de l’insurrection peule au Mali.
Manon Elissa Murray is an intern at Ifri’s Security Studies Center. She holds a master’s degree in Security Studies from University College London. She is currently pursuing Arabic studies at the National Institute of Oriental Languages and Civilizations (INALCO) with the aim of specializing in the Middle East. In this article, she sheds light on the origine of the Fulani’s insurgency in Center Mali.
Jihadism in sub-Saharan Africa has been a hot topic for the past five years, and terrorist groups such as Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) or Boko Haram (now Islamic State in West Africa) have often made the front page of newspapers. Although these are the most publicized groups, they do not represent the only jihadist threat in Sahel. Recently, general Guibert, commander of the French operation Barkhane in Sahel, issued a statement warning against small groups located in the regions of Mopti and Segou in central Mali, and added he hoped for the deployment of troops there for several weeks, in order to collect intelligence from local populations.
This deviation of itinerary suggests that while most of the jihadist groups are based in the northern part of Mali, insecurity, not to say full-blown insurgency, is growing in the centre of the country. The relatively rich region of the “Niger Loop” has been long plagued with political marginalization, economic disinvestment, bad governance and ethnic discrimination, which have given way to discontent from local populations and have contributed to creating an environment prone to the development of jihadist groups. This has typically been the case for the Macina Liberation Front, now called Katiba Macina, which put itself under the umbrella of Ansar Dine, a well-known Tuareg jihadist group led by Iyad Ag Ghali, affiliated with AQIM since March 2017.