The EU is investing $56 million in a counter-terrorism force in a region awash with militant groups.
Al-Qaeda affiliates are active in the region.
Some of the groups were involved in the 2012 northern Mali uprising.
A 2015 peace deal is aimed at resolving the causes of a 2012 revolution in northern Mali.
Ahmad al-Faqi al-Mahdi is the first person to enter a guilty plea at the ICC.
The presenter, known as Ras Bath, suggested jihadis are on the front foot against Mali armed forces.
Beatrice Stockly was taken from her home in Timbuktu in January for the second time in four years.