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.

Mouvement Arabe de l’Azawad-Plateforme (MAA-PF)

The MAA-PF contains groups of largely Arab fighters from the Gao area (particularly Bourem and the Tilemsi Valley and surrounding areas) and others around Timbuktu, particularly in Lerneb. Many of the core MAA-PF fighters were part of loyalist Arab militias before and during the 2012 rebellion, although many like those led by the commander Yoro Ould Daha subsequently joined MUJAO. These links have fuelled accusations, particularly before the split between the CMA and the Plateforme, that the MAA-PF remained close to jihadist groups. The MAA-PF argued that this was an excuse, particularly from the MNLA, to gain French assistance in targeting MAA-PF fighters, as at In Khalil on the Algerian border in February 2013. More recently, leadership conflicts within the MAA-PF have weakened the group, and called into question its participation in DDR programmes and other institutions of Mali’s peace process.