Violence is tearing Mali and the Sahel apart. But who are the armed groups behind the bloodshed? Where are international actors stationed in the region? And what motivates them all? This project maps jihadist and non-jihadist groups and pinpoints the presence of external actors in the region as of May 2019.
The European Union
The European Union has two Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) missions in Mali and one in Niger. In Mali, these are the EU Training Mission (EUTM), which provides training for the Malian armed forces, and the EU Capacity and Assistance Programme (EUCAP) mission, which largely focuses on police and internal security forces. The EUCAP mission in Niger has since 2016 focused much more on migration, whereas the two missions in Mali remain focused on counterterrorism training, core military and police capacity building, and improving awareness of human rights. These missions do not deploy offensively or in the field in support of the forces they train, though they have faced attack at their base in Koulikoro as well as in Bamako. EUTM and EUCAP have expanded their operations to include trainings conducted in central and northern Mali, in part in response to concerns that they had overly focused their activities in southern Mali.