Renewed armed clashes took place on Friday, April 10, 2020 between the militants of the Massena battalion, which is affiliated with the group called Supporting Islam and Muslims and which is loyal to Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and between the militants of ISIS in the state of Mopti, in central Mali. The frequency of violence has increased in that inflamed spot.
According to the Mauritanian “Sahara Media” website, the clashes came after a series of intense disputes, caused by the spread of influence in the region, as ISIS members killed a person in the traditional area of influence of the Massena battalion, which was rejected by the pro-Al Qaeda battalion elements.
The escalation of influence of ISIS in Mali sparked fierce clashes with the Massena militants, led by Amadou Koufa, who was killed in 2018 by the defense ministers of France and Mali, before re-appearing again in February, 2019, during a video clip, denouncing the delegitimization of the Bamako government in Mali, and defending the Fulani community against the Dujon tribes.
In the month of March 2020, violent clashes erupted between the two organizations, near the Mauritanian border, in which many people were killed after secret negotiations failed to settle the power struggle between them.
ISIS operates in the north and central Mali region, taking advantage of ethnic conflicts and a desire to control oil resources.
In April 2019, the leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, announced that “he was killed in late October 2019”, establishing the state of West and Central Africa, and appointed “Aboloud al-Sahrawi” to be responsible for the branch of the organization in Africa, along with his leadership of armed operations in Niger and Mali
Al-Qaeda also has a strong presence in the African Sahel region, as it was able to form its largest alliance in the world, which is known as the “Victory of Islam and Muslims”, which was established in March 2017, as a result of the merger of four armed movements in Mali and the Sahel region. They are Ansar al-Din, the Massena Brigades, the Almoravid Brigade, and the Principality of the Sahara Region
The desire to control
Nasser Mamoun Issa, a researcher on African affairs, believes that one of the main causes of the dispute between Al Qaeda and ISIS organizations is due to the ideological and intellectual difference.
In a statement to the Reference, he affirmed that the Al-Qaeda organization does not accept the participation of ISIS in that region, referring to the reason for this which is the encroachment of the elements of ISIS on the lands and the population, which al-Qaeda considers to be its property and subject to its influence.