What Is Next for Mali? The Roots of Conflict and Challenges to Stability

  • November 01, 2013
  • Dr Dona J Stewart



In March 2012, the government of Mali, one of the most touted symbols of Africa’s democratic potential, fell in a military-executed coup. At the same time, a 4-decades old rebellion among Tuaregs seeking autonomy or independence reached new heights fueled by weapons from Libya and the belief that the Arab Spring could extend to northern Mali. Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and their allies were quick to capitalize on the increasing chaos in a territory characterized by lack of government control and poverty and seized the major cities in the north. While French-led military intervention restored security to cities in the north, the underlying social, economic and political issues of the crisis remain.