Hotel siege, Mali

This item appears on page 19 of the October 2015 issue.

In Sévaré, Mali, on Aug. 7, suspected Islamist militants attacked a hotel used by UN peacekeepers, killing a number of people and taking hostages. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack. The militants had first attacked a nearby military base, with no deaths reported. 

Malian troops stormed the hotel on Aug. 8, freeing the hostages. In total, 13 people were killed, including five UN peacekeepers.

Back in January 2012, Islamist and Tuareg groups staged an uprising in Mali, taking control of much of the northern portion of the country, known as Azawad. French and African Union forces returned control of the area to the Malian government in early 2013. 

Though a cease-fire agreement between the Malian government and Tuareg militias was signed in February 2015, Tuareg groups still control some towns in Azawad. On the weekend of Aug. 15-16, a pro-government militia took over the town of Anefif from the Coordination of Azawad Movement (CMA), a Tuareg militia, killing 15 CMA soldiers in violation of the cease-fire.