This document is a partial update of the COI Focus Mali. Situation sécuritaire published 10 February 2017, as it only analyses the security situation in the two centrally located regions of Ségou and Mopti. It covers the period from 1 January to 31 July 2017. The research for this update was concluded on 2 August 2017.
Since 2015, the security situation has been steadily deteriorating in the Ségou and Mopti regions, which had been fairly stable until then. According to the source material, this is due to the gradual redeployment of Islamist militants in central Mali following the 2013 military intervention further north.
In February 2017, the Malian government adopted a plan to reinforce security in the Ségou and Mopti regions and MINUSMA reviewed its strategy to protect the civilian population. At the end of April 2017, the state of emergency was extended for another six months, until 31 October 2017. In June 2017, the UN Security Council approved the deployment of a counterterrorism force in the Sahel region. The leaders of Burkina Faso, Niger and Mali decided to create a mixed multinational force to protect their common borders against the activities of extremist groups.
The main agents of insecurity in central Mali are two jihadist groups affiliated with AQMI and close to Ansar Din, the Macina Liberation Front (FLM), also known as the Katibat Macina, and the Group to Support Islam and Muslims (GSI). In order to defend their land and herds, the Bambara and the Peul have also created self-defence groups in the region.
The Malian army is 13,000 strong while MINUSMA has 13,000 peace-keeping troops and 2,000 police. MINUSMA plans to send a rapid intervention unit of several hundred troops to Sévaré (Mopti region). France has 4,000 troops in Mali under operation Barkhane.
During the reporting period, central Mali was affected by a number of asymmetrical attacks by Islamist groups against international troops and the Malian defence and security forces. Civilians have been intimidated by members of Islamist groups to force them to comply with their rigid ideology and some schools were forced to close down. Representatives of the central government have been assassinated by suspected Islamist militants. During the reporting period, conflicts over access to land and water also generated ethnic tensions and armed incidents between Peul, Bambara and Dogon. A spate of criminal activities has also contributed to a deterioration of security in the region. HRW has documented human rights violations by security forces during counterterrorism operations.
The consulted sources mention Nampala and the Niono Cercle (Ségou region) and Sévaré and surrounding area, Ténenkou, Djenné, Bankass and Douentza (Mopti region) as places affected by violence and lack of security.
The UN reported an increased number of internally displaced persons and Malian refugees in neighbouring Burkina Faso, Mauritania and Niger.
The problematic security situation has hampered the return of state employees to central Mali and, together with pressure from radical groups, has led to schools being closed down.
The policy implemented by the Commissioner General is based on a thorough analysis of accurate and up-to-date information on the general situation in the country of origin. This information is collated in a professional manner from various, objective sources, including the EASO, the UNHCR, relevant international human rights organisations, non-governmental organisations, professional literature and coverage in the media. When determining policy, the Commissioner General does not only examine the COI Focuses written by Cedoca and published on this website, as these deal with just one aspect of the general situation in the country of origin. The fact that a COI Focus could be out-of-date does not mean that the policy that is being implemented by the Commissioner General is no longer up-to-date.
When assessing an application for asylum, the Commissioner General not only considers the actual situation in the country of origin at the moment of decision-making, he also takes into account the individual situation and personal circumstances of the applicant for international protection. Every asylum application is examined individually. An applicant must comprehensively demonstrate that he has a well-founded fear of persecution or that there is a clear personal risk of serious harm. He cannot, therefore, simply refer back to the general conditions in his country, but must also present concrete, credible and personal facts.
There is no policy paper for this country available on the website.