The conflict in Mali has taken a new turn, with accusations from armed Azawadian groups against external forces, including mercenaries from Libya and Syria, allegedly assisting the Malian army in Kidal. This city, a focal point in northern Mali, has become even more contentious following the departure of the UN peacekeeping force.
The National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad, a key player in Mali’s northern conflict, has doubts about the Malian army’s claims of regaining control over Kidal. They suggest the involvement of the Wagner Group, a Russian-backed military force, and indicate a broader international interference in the conflict.
These developments signal a significant shift in Mali’s internal strife, with Libyan and Syrian mercenaries’ involvement indicating a complex and international dimension to the conflict. This raises concerns about the escalating violence, and the stability of peace efforts in the region.
The Malian government’s stance, juxtaposed with these accusations, underscores the intricate geopolitical dynamics, potentially impacting regional security and stability.
Notably, a US-based publication has recently reported that Libya stands as the fifth-highest in crime rates on the African continent.
CEO World magazine, known for its global business insights, emphasized the severe challenges faced by migrants from sub-Saharan Africa, who often reside in Libya without legal status. This makes them particularly vulnerable to various forms of persecution
The magazine’s report further detailed that smuggling operations have become deeply entrenched within the Libyan socio-economic fabric. Additionally, the widespread occurrences of enforced disappearances, and sexual exploitation continue to mar the country’s human rights record.
Since the overthrow of longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, Libya has grappled with severe political and social upheaval. The ensuing years saw the emergence of multiple factions vying for control, which has significantly hampered the establishment of a stable and unified government.
This tumultuous environment has provided fertile ground for criminal networks to thrive, particularly in human trafficking across the Mediterranean, and into Europe. Libya’s extensive coastline along the Mediterranean has become synonymous with the perilous migrant journeys. The internal chaos has been exacerbated by the involvement of international actors and mercenaries, complicating the peace process.