14 Dec 2023

IFFs and money laundering / Economic warfare in southern Mali: intersections between illicit economies and violent extremism

This report maps the impact and expansion of violent extremist groups in the country's Kayes and Koulikoro regions.

The densely populated southern regions of Kayes and Koulikoro in Mali are at a watershed moment, with the rapid expansion into the regions by Jama’a Nusrat ul-Islam wa al-Muslimin from the north and central regions. The two regions provide JNIM with new and profitable frontiers for resource exploitation, such as access to a vast tax base and control of the lucrative timber logging sector. The regions also provide JNIM with opportunities for cattle rustling, kidnapping, banditry and access to artisanal gold mining sites.

About the author

Dr Ndubuisi Christian Ani is Senior Researcher and Project Coordinator, ENACT, at the Institute for Security Studies in Abuja, Nigeria. Previously, he was a Senior Regional Advisor at the GIZ support project for the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre in Accra, Ghana. Christian also held research roles at the ISS in Ethiopia, and the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes in South Africa. He holds a PhD in International Relations from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

Image: Adobe Stock


This publication was produced with the financial support of the European Union and the German Federal Foreign Office under the OCWAR-T project. Its contents are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union or the German Federal Foreign Office. The ISS is also grateful for support from the members of the ISS Partnership Forum: the Hanns Seidel Foundation, the European Union, the Open Society Foundations and the governments of Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden.

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