Exclusive: Key Mali jihadist Amadou Koufa resurfaces to deny reports of his death

FRANCE 24 has obtained exclusive video footage of Amadou Koufa, one of Mali’s jihadist leaders, in which he denies reports of his death made in November. FRANCE 24’s expert on jihadist groups, Wassim Nasr, discusses the video’s significance.

In the more than 19-minute-long video, Amadou Koufa answers questions posed by two people in both Arabic and English. It is supposedly the first sign of life from the radical preacher since his death was announced.

Koufa is a senior member of Jamaat Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (the Group to Support Islam and Muslims), which has links to Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). His Macina Liberation Front has been called Mali’s answer to the Islamist group Boko Haram. Koufa has called upon his supporters to rebuild the 19th-century Massina Empire that existed in what is now Mali.

On November 23, 2018, the French and Malian armies announced that Koufa had been killed in a French raid in Mali’s central Mopti region. Both AQIM and local sources rejected the reports of his death.

The Macina Liberation Front was one of the groups thatclaimed responsibility for a deadly November 2015 attack on the luxury Radisson Blu hotel in the Malian capital Bamako.