Paranoia in Bamako: Muslims arrested for ‘looking Islamist’

While the Malian army and French forces combat Islamist fighters in the country’s north, to the south, residents of the capital Bamako are falling prey to paranoia. Anyone who looks like they might perchance be radical Islamists is immediately denounced to the authorities. Read more...

Islamist rebels jumping ship in Gao, residents cautiously celebrate

The Islamist rebels who have occupied Gao since April 2012 are being driven out of the city following France’s decision last week to intervene militarily in its former colony. Gao is still not completely liberated, but residents have already begun celebrating in the streets and allowing themselves the small indulgences outlawed by the Islamist extremists’ strict interpretation of Sharia Law. Read more...

"Islamic extremists in Gao broadcast amputations"

On January 1, Islamic extremists from th Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) movement in Gao broadcast footage they had filmed of two men punished according to Islamic Sharia law. One man was amputated, the other flogged. Our Observer witnessed a similar occurrence just a week earlier. Read more...

The plunder of Timbuktu: “What can we do against armed men?”

On Sunday, the citizens of Timbuktu were once again powerless to stop the destruction of the city's famed mausoleums by Islamist militias. In the city of “333 saints”, the mood is one of resignation. Read more...

Mali peace talks: Tuareg and Islamist leaders 'chatted, cracked jokes'

Leaders from the MNLA, Ansar Dine and the Malian government chat in Ouagadougou, where they met for negotiations.
Nine months after Tuareg and Islamists rebels took over northern Mali, the president of neighbouring Burkina Faso, Blaise Compaoré, welcomed representatives from Ansar Dine, from the MNLA and from Mali’s transitional government to his nation’s capital. The goal was to try to start talks to resolve the crisis. On Tuesday, they agreed to "cease hostilities" – though there is not currently any fighting – and pledged to continue negotiations. Our Observer explains that the cultural proximity between the Tuareg separatists of the MNLA (National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad) and the Islamists of Ansar Dine will be a key factor for brokering a new peace in the north. Read more...

Photos from the new Timbuktu, as controlled by radical Islamists

A France 24 Observer living in the Malian capital Bamako headed north to Timbuktu in October to visit his wife. While there, he took photographs of radical Islamists from the Ansar Dine movement, who took control of the city earlier this year.

Timbuktu: Islamist groups “are preparing for an army intervention”

Last weekend, several hundred jihadists (according to AFP) from Arab countries arrived in the regions of Timbuktu and Gao, in the north of Mali, to bolster the ranks of Islamist groups in preparation for an intervention from a possible international army force. One of our observers in Timbuktu describes the new arrivals. Read more...

Islamists in northern Mali execute one of their own under Sharia law

After confessing to having murdered another man, a member of northern Mali’s Islamist movement Ansar Dine was put to death by his own camp in the city of Timbuktu on October 2. Our Observer on the ground was there to photograph the horrifying scene. Read more...

Rare photos of Islamist fighters patrolling in northern Mali

One of our Observers in the northern Malian city of Gao managed to take photos of Islamist fighters patrolling the city in pick-up trucks. Since armed Islamist groups took control of the country’s north, images of these fighters have been very difficult to come by. See photos and read more…

Out with colour: Islamists force Timbuktu women to wear black veils

To avoid being whipped, mutilated, and jailed, women in Timbuktu now have to wear black veils and loose-fitting clothing. Radical Islamists, who took control of the city months ago, are laying down their law – Sharia law – and for the first time since they’ve arrived, they’re specifically targeting women. Read more…