ISIL doubled territory it controls in Mali in less than a year: UN

The armed group ISIL (ISIS) has almost doubled its territory in Mali in less than a year, United Nations experts have said in a new report.

The stalled implementation of a peace deal and sustained attacks on communities have offered ISIL and an al-Qaeda affiliate also operating in the region a chance “to re-enact the 2012 scenario”, it said.

That is the year when a military coup took place in the West African country and rebels in the north formed “an Islamic state” two months later. The rebels were forced from power in the north with the help of a French-led military operation, but they moved from the arid north to more populated central Mali in 2015 and remain active.

In August 2020, Mali’s president was overthrown in a coup that included an army colonel who carried out a second coup and was sworn in as president in June 2021. He developed ties to Russia’s military and its Wagner Group of mercenaries, whose head, Yevgeny Prigozhin, was killed in a plane crash on a flight from Moscow last week.

Read more: Aljazeera