The European Union on Monday added three al-Qaeda-linked jihadist commanders in West Africa to its terrorist sanctions blacklist for attacks in Mali and Burkina Faso.
The new asset freezes and visa bans target Sidan Ag-Hitta and Salem ould Breihmatt, senior commanders within the UN-listed Al-Qaeda-affiliated Jama'at Nusrat al-Islam Wal-Muslimin (JNIM) in Mali, as well as its Burkinabe branch Ansarul Islam and its leader Jafar Dicko.
"The sanctioned group and individuals are responsible for several terrorist attacks, including against civilians, the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali and defence and security forces in Burkina Faso," the EU said.
"Their activities contribute to the expansion of the terrorist threat in Western Africa and therefore pose a serious and continued threat to the EU and to regional and international stability."
The move takes to 13 people and four groups the number of targets now on the EU's blacklist against Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group.