Skip to content
Subscriber Only

Spread of Jihadism Turns Central Mali Into Deadliest Region

  • Reach of Islamist militants is expanding, rights group says
  • More than 500 people have died in first six months of 2018
Firefighters and soldiers walks beside a destroyed building and burnt cars in Gao.

Photographer: STR/AFP  via Getty Images

Updated on

A mix of jihadist violence, communal conflict and suspected army abuse have rendered central Mali the country’s deadliest region as the influence of Islamist insurgents and separatist rebels in the north is spreading, according to a human-rights group.

Mali’s government has been struggling to restore state authority in the north and center since a 2012 Islamist insurgency that’s reverberated across West Africa. More than 500 people have been killed in attacks or mass executions in the central Mopti region during the first six months of the year, the International Federation for Human Rights said in a report published Tuesday, citing testimonies from civilians and local leaders.