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Mali: Jihadi Amadou Koufa’s fighters desert, join Islamic State

By Jeune Afrique
Posted on Wednesday, 26 February 2020 08:05

Amadou Koufa
Amadou Koufa, in a propaganda video broadcast on 28 February 2019

The head of the Katibat Macina, Amadou Koufa, has lost some of his fighters to the Islamic State in the Great Sahara (EIGS).

In an internal note dated 3 February, analysts of the United Nations Mission in the Sudan (UNMIS) expressed concern about the emergence in the Nampala region of central Mali of a new jihadist group.

According to them, the group pledged allegiance to the Islamic State a few days earlier after claiming responsibility for the 30 January double attack on military posts in Sarkala.

Allegiance to Iyad Ag Ghaly

The new group is said to be composed of Fulani fighters, previously part of Amadou Koufa’s Katibat Macina, and affiliated to the Support Group for Islam and Muslims (GSIM).

Other former followers of Koufa are also said to have recently left to join the movement of the Islamic State in the Great Sahara (EIGS) of Abu Walid al-Sahraoui.

READ MORE Tracking Abu Walid al-Sahraoui, West Africa’s most wanted jihadist

They accuse Koufa of being subservient to Iyad Ag Ghaly, and disagree with the way he distributes the spoils of war and his management of land issues.

In recent weeks, there have been several clashes between men from Katibat Macina and the EIGS, notably on 9 January in Dogo, north of Mopti.