From the Background: "Mali has been mired in crisis since 2012, when state institutions nearly collapsed in the face of a northern separatist rebellion, a military coup, and an Islamist insurgent advance. After junior military officers seized power from an elected president, northern rebels--fueled by arms from Libya and bolstered by fighters with ties to Algerian-led Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM)--declared an independent state of 'Azawad.' By mid-2012, AQIM and two loosely aligned groups had outmaneuvered the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) to assert control over most of the north. France intervened militarily against the Islamists in early 2013, at which point the MNLA and other factions (re-)asserted control in some areas. MINUSMA deployed in mid-2013, and Kéïta won elections later that year, marking the end of Mali's post-coup political transition. The 2012 coup leader, Capt. Amadou Haya Sanogo, faces charges for the murder of rival soldiers, but his trial has been delayed repeatedly."
CRS In Focus, IF10116
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/