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.


This branch of the Arab Movement of the Azawad is largely an outgrowth of Arab militias in the Timbuktu region that formed during the Tuareg rebellion, particularly the Front de Liberation Nationale de l’Azawad (FNLA) led by the merchant, alleged smuggler, and local  powerbroker Dina Ould Daya, a member of the Oulad Idris tribe. They are less military active than the HCUA or MNLA, but maintain a strong armed presence and have at times fought alongside their CMA partners. The MAA-CMA is closely involved in protecting the interests of Arab communities especially in the Timbuktu region, in opposition to other Tuareg and Arab movements that aligned with MUJAO or with the government in 2012, or encroached on business interests and traditional social and economic hierarchies previously.