The regional impact of the armed conflict and French intervention in Mali

from Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre
Published on 09 Apr 2013 View Original

Despite the perceived threat to international peace and security presented by the crisis in Mali, the international community did not act to resolve it for nearly ten months, which allowed Islamists to militarily take control of the whole of northern Mali and impose sharia law.

The French military intervention in Mali placed the country at the top of the international political agenda. But the conflict in Mali and the French intervention have wider implications not only for Mali and its neighbours, but also for Africa, the international community, and France’s national security and strategic interests at home and abroad.

This report assesses the current crisis, the key actors and the nature of the complex conflict in Mali; the nature and scope of the military, political and diplomatic interventions in Mali by a range of actors; the regional implications of the conflict for the Sahel and West Africa; and the consequences of the French military intervention and its wider implications, including the debate about the risk of the “Afghanistanisation of Mali”. It concludes with policy-relevant recommendations for external countries and intergovernmental actors interested in supporting Mali beyond the immediate military-security stabilisation to long-term peacebuilding, state reconstruction and development.