Factsheet: Islamists in Central Sahel

Central Sahel Factsheet  Over the past half decade, violent Islamist groups have gained ground in the central Sahel region of west Africa by controlling territory and conducting attacks in the tri-border region between Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso. Both Islamic State and al-Qaeda affiliated armed groups are responsible for grave violations of international religious freedom in their areas of control, including executing individuals based on their beliefs and imposing a strict interpretation of Shari’a (Islamic law) on Sahelian citizens. This factsheet documents religious freedom violations committed by select militant Islamist groups such as Islamic State in Greater Sahara (ISGS) and Katiba Macina in the central Sahel, as well as challenges facing efforts to counter these groups.

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