International Business Times quotes Africa Center Director J. Peter Pham on the new terror group threatening peace in Mali:
“There seems to be evidence that the Movement for the Liberation of Macina arose among ethnic Fulani Islamists influenced by preachers with links to Iyad ag Ghali,” said J. Peter Pham, head of the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center. Ghali was the founder of Ansar Dine and had been lying low until August 2014, when he appeared in an AQIM video calling on Muslims to rise up against France, “which detests Islam.”
Witnesses say the fighters do appear to be of Fulani ethnicity, which is logical because the group’s name recalls a 19th century Fulani state, led by a Muslim preacher.
“The use of the name and appeal to the history of Macina may be a vehicle to make Iyad ag Ghali’s Islamism more palatable to Fulani,” Pham said. “Whether there is more to it or not is too early to tell.”