The fighting between the CSP and the Jnim, “a godsend” for the Malian state

a military leader of the CSP rebels rallies the Jnim

In Mali, a look back at these battles which pitted the rebels of the Permanent Strategic Framework (CSP) last Friday against the jihadists of the Support Group for Islam and Muslims (Jnim) linked to Al-Qaeda. They took place near the Wagadou forest, on the border with Mauritania, and caused, according to sources, between ten and twenty deaths in both camps. This confrontation is surprising, since the CSP and the Jnim both have the priority of fighting the Malian army and its auxiliaries of Wagner. How to understand it? What are the consequences on the ground?

2 mins

To the Malian transitional authorities who accuse the CSP rebels and the Jnim jihadists of having formed a “ association ” For ” spreading terror ” And “ undermine the national unity and territorial integrity of Mali » according to the terms of the joint procedure launched last November by the Malian justice system against several leaders of the CSP and Jnim, the fighting last Friday provides a serious denial.

Territorial control

But a bloody denial and revealing of deep tensions. The Jnim did not communicate on these fights but the CSP itself explained that it was a question of territory: the jihadists refuse that the CSP, historically present in the northern regions, carry out actions in southern Mali.

Aly Tounkara is the director in Bamako of the Center for Security and Strategic Studies in the Sahel (CE3S). “ The two actors have difficulty agreeing on the modalities of control and even governance of the territoriesexplains the Malian researcher. The goals are still different, one being in a pro-independence posture, the other being in a dynamic of effective, real application of sharia. »

A boon »

The CSP and the Jnim, however, have a declared common enemy: the Malian army and its auxiliaries of Wagner, who appear in fact to be the first beneficiaries of these divisions.

Clearly, these divisions could be seized by the State of Mali as a godsendanalyzes Aly Tounkara, even if this should not have any impact on the tactical, operational level, as to the actions of the Malian army which are underway. »

Clearly, the Malian Armed Forces (Fama) can benefit from it, but without this changing their own strategy: “ Since the two groups (Jnim and CSP, editor’s note) are not united within the same headquarters and do not share the same approaches, the impact on military action (of the Fama, editor’s note) is marginal, if not zero.. » And on the action of the CSP, which has promised, since its defeat in Kidal last November, to take its revenge on the Malian army and its Wagner auxiliaries?

These clashes change nothingassures today a rebel executive, who concedes that the Jnim opposition could “ to slow down » scheduled operations, but above all affirms that the CSP remains determined to carry out attacks “ throughout the territory of Mali “.

Read alsoMali: what are the prospects after the capture of Kidal by the armed forces?