The United States on Thursday placed on their terrorist list Amadou Kufa, the leader of a Malian jihadi group affiliated with al-Qaida accused of having carried out multiple attacks in the center of the country.
Amadou Koufa, a preacher member of the Fulani community, is the leader of the « Katiba Macina », active in the region on behalf of the Support Group for Islam and Muslims (GSIM), the main jihadist alliance of the Sahel.
Born into a poor family in the region of Mopti, Amadou Koufa recruits primarily among the Fulani, which he poses as a defender. Since 2015, clashes have multiplied between this community of nomadic pastoralists and the Bambara and Dogon ethnic groups, mainly engaged in agriculture, who have created their « self-defense groups ».
According to the State Department, the GSIM is responsible for the deaths of more than 500 civilians for two years. The alliance, created in 2017 and placed last year on the US terrorist list, is responsible for the deaths of more than 500 civilians since 2017. Among the attacks is a simultaneous action against the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Burkina Faso Faso and the French Embassy in Ouagadougou in March 2018 (8 dead and 85 wounded).
The US decision comes two days after the announcement of the death of one of the main leaders of the GSIM, the Moroccan Ali Maychou. Regarded as the number two alliance, he was killed by French forces in Mali in early October, according to the French Minister of Armies, Florence Parly.
Maychou was « the second most wanted terrorist in the Sahel » behind the head of the GSIM Iyad ag Ghali, told AFP Ms. Parly.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo praised the French military operation, saying « search and destroy terrorists wherever they are ».
According to a US diplomat, the progress of al-Qaeda and the Islamic State (IS), also active in the region, is a major challenge in the region.
Northern Mali fell in 2012 under the thumb of jihadists, largely dispersed by a military intervention launched in January 2013 at the initiative of France, which continues. But entire areas of the country are beyond the control of the forces of Mali, France and the UN and the Sahel countries, among the poorest in the world, seem unable to stop the attacks of jihadists who are now targeting the center and south of the country. Mali and neighboring countries.