Mali has been hit by the expansion of Takfiri militant groups. Terror attacks on November 20 resulted in the deaths of over 20 people and a 10-day nationwide state of emergency.
The death toll would have been higher, security analysts warned, had it not been for the intervention of Malian forces and a multinational contingent already on the ground. International condemnation of this act of terror – later claimed by the Mali-based al-Mourabitoun group, led by Algerian militant Mokhtar Belmokhtar – was swift.
Mali has been witnessing violence linked to militant activity in its northern region since 2012. The area remains vulnerable to attacks despite a military operation led by France in 2013, which came after the UN Security Council passed a resolution on the deployment of a peacekeeping force. It is not just Mali’s geography that has made it a focus of terror groups, however. Other factors have been key in drawing in this land-locked country into the world of extremism and terrorism.