Mali

Security in the Sahel: Part I – Stabilising Mali in 2013-14

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Summary

One year after French and African military intervention recaptured northern Mali from Islamist and separatist armed groups the stability of this Sahel region is still heavily reliant on the presence of armed foreign troops. While the election of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta and his party in polls in the second half of 2013 has established a relatively strong new government, its achievements so far have mainly related to reversing the effects of the March 2012 military coup in Bamako. Progress in reintegrating and reconciling the north, internally and with the rest of Mali, has been partial. Apart from sporadic terrorist attacks, talks with Tuareg separatists have foundered, inter-communal violence and urban protests have flared, and one-third of the north’s population, including many civil servants, still feel too insecure to return home. Part I of this two-part special briefing analyses challenges for stabilising Mali. Part II will examine regional security challenges and the increasingly militaristic French and US response.

Security in the Sahel: Part II – Militarisation of the Sahel