In the Sahel, the Islamic State, weakened by the death of its founder, remains active

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Will the Islamic State in the Great Sahara (EIGS) organization survive the losses suffered in recent months? When it was designated as a priority target by France and the member countries of the G5 Sahel force in January 2020, the jihadist group carried on deadly guerrilla operations against the armies and the massacres of civilian populations in the area known as the three borders – where Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger meet. Since May, he has lost his entire upper hierarchy.

Paris announced on September 16 the death of its leader and founder, Adnan Abou Walid Al-Sahraoui, during a drone strike on August 17 in the Dangarous forest, in eastern Mali. ” His death, undoubtedly, is a decisive blow to the command of the EIGS which has been beheaded in recent months, insisted Bernard Emié, Director General of External Security (DGSE), during a press conference. It intervenes after a series of operations targeting the high command of the EIGS, and contributes to the deep destruction of the group which will have the greatest difficulties in replacing its executives.

Read also The number one of the Islamic State organization in the Great Sahara killed by French forces

EIGS number two Abdoul Hakim Al-Sahraoui is believed to have died in May “In still unknown circumstances”. The logistics and financial coordinator of the group as well as its highest official for religious affairs have, according to the French general staff, been “Neutralized” in July. Two of the organization’s caciques were also captured and military leaders killed. As one actor in the fight against terrorism sums it up with satisfaction, “The entire EIGS board has been eliminated”.

” To mow the lawn “

However, will the succession of blows be sufficient to prevent any relief? In the past, Al-Mourabitoune, the movement founded by Mokhtar Belmokhtar, the Algerian jihadist who was the godfather of Adnan Abou Walid Al-Sahraoui before the latter joined Daesh in 2015, has never been able to recover from the presumed death of its leader, very likely killed in mid-November 2016 by a French air raid in Libya. However, the deaths of the highest Islamist leaders, if they may have disrupted the groups, have so far never halted the general dynamic of progress.

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