Mali has played host to a raft of extremist groups in recent years but people's reasons for joining are often the same.
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 led the destruction of nine historic shrines and a 15th-century mosque.
Militants have killed 68 U.N. peacekeepers in Mali in the past three years, but the blue helmets aren't giving up yet.