ICC Note: Islamist radical groups have begun a new push into previously stable areas of the African nation of Mali. Two new leaders who gained experience in previous internal Malian conflicts, have garnered a new foothold among the Fulani people. Through radio broadcasts in the Fulani-language, the Macina Liberation Front (FLM) have attracted many young Fulani men to their cause promising a return of the Fulani Empire. Fulani herdsmen have been linked to countless attacks on Christian communities in Nigeria and surrounding region including the most recent where 38 Christians were killed and 5,000 displaced from their homes. With the rise of fundamentalist Islam again in Mali, the minority Christian community fears intense upcoming persecution as hundreds of thousands have fled northern cities like Timbuktu and Gao.
09/23/2015 Mali (The Telegraph UK) – A new Islamist push into central and southern Mali is being led by two charismatic leaders of a new Islamist armed group who cut their teeth in the country’s northern conflict, according to security sources.
In the latest of a series of attacks outside the West African nation’s traditional theatre of combat, two policemen and two civilians were killed on Saturday in the village of Bi, near the south-east border with Burkina Faso.
Investigators blamed the Macina Liberation Front (FLM), a new group that emerged earlier this year and has claimed responsibility for a number of attacks, some targeting security forces in central Mali.
The FLM, led by radical preacher Amadou Koufa, draws its support from the local Fulani people, and is linked to Ansar Dine, one of the Islamist groups that briefly took control of Mali’s vast arid north in 2012.