Once an apparent pillar of democracy in West Africa, Mali has drastically deteriorated in 2012, with a coup bringing down the elected government in March and a combination of armed groups taking over vast areas of the desert north soon thereafter. This panel will discuss the root causes of Mali's instability and strategies for addressing those causes that can contribute to long-term peace and stability.

Read the event coverage, Complex Mali Crisis Analyzed at USIP Meeting

Once an apparent pillar of democracy in West Africa, Mali has drastically deteriorated in 2012, with a coup bringing down the elected government in March and a combination of armed groups taking over vast areas of the desert north soon thereafter. Those areas remain under the control of al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, Ansar Dine, MUJAO and the MNLA, while a shaky interim government in Bamako seems to make little progress. Discussions are underway for the intervention of a regional force that will assist the Malian army in retaking the north, but there are many unanswered questions about the emerging plan. This panel discussed the root causes of Mali's instability and strategies for addressing those causes that can contribute to long-term peace and stability.

Panelists:

  • Susanna Wing, Panelist
    Associate Professor of Political Science, Haverford College
  • Michael Shurkin, Panelist
    Political Scientist, RAND
  • Stephanie Pezard, Panelist
    Political Scientist, RAND
  • Andrew Lebovich, Panelist
    Sahel Analyst 
  • Jon Temin, Moderator
    Director of Sudan & South Sudan Program, U.S. Institute of Peace

Explore Further

Related Publications

China’s Evolving Role as a U.N. Peacekeeper in Mali

China’s Evolving Role as a U.N. Peacekeeper in Mali

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

By: Jean-Pierre Cabestan

Chinese troops have been stationed in Mali for the last half-decade as part of the UN-mandated stabilization force. Deployed after rebel groups overran large portions northeastern Mali in 2013, it was just the second time Beijing had ever contributed combat troops to a UN peacekeeping mission. This Special Report examines how China is using its peacekeeping activities in Mali as an opportunity to train troops and test equipment in a hostile environment—and as a way of extending its diplomatic reach and soft power in Africa and beyond.

Global Policy

Justice and Security Dialogues in  the Sahel and Maghreb

Justice and Security Dialogues in the Sahel and Maghreb

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

When violent conflict erupts, its roots often must be found and healed at the community level. Amid such turmoil, however, government officials, police, and community leaders are likely to mistrust each other—a breakdown in relations that opens space for security threats, including violent extremism and organized crime.

Justice, Security & Rule of Law

Regional Security through Inclusive Reform in the Maghreb and the Sahel

Regional Security through Inclusive Reform in the Maghreb and the Sahel

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

By: Querine Hanlon; Joyce A. Kasee

Throughout the Maghreb and the Sahel, governments are struggling to manage a security environment fundamentally transformed by the Arab Spring. Within this region, the efforts of governments to secure their territories and civil society organizations to create accountable and transparent security institutions have proceeded almost wholly divorced from each other. This Peace Brief shares key insights from the engagement between official and civil society actors both within and across borders t...

Justice, Security & Rule of Law; Democracy & Governance

View All Publications