In Summary
  • In the Mopti region, the Fulani are the biggest ethnic group and the most recruits to Al-Qaeda-linked jihadist cells.
  • The deep poverty and isolation of the Fulani people have made many vulnerable to the siren call of the jihad.
  • According to the UN, 70,000 people have fled their homes in Mopti over jihad-related violence.

Bamako

For centuries, the Fulani people trod the paths of the Sahel with their cattle, largely unnoticed by the rest of the world.

Today, the world's attention has turned to this ancient herding community as many of its members have been ensnared in a deadly jihadist insurgency spreading from Mali's restive north to its centre.

In the Mopti region, the Fulani -- also called Peuls -- are the biggest ethnic group and the most recruits to Al-Qaeda-linked jihadist cells, such as the notorious Katiba Macina.

HOLY WAR

The group's Fulani leader Amadou Koufa has called on his "brothers" throughout West Africa to join his holy war against "non-believers".

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