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Post-Intervention Prospects for Mali's Tuareg: Part II

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Editor’s note: This is the second of a two-part series on Tuareg politics in northern Mali. Part I examined the factors shaping internal political development among Mali’s Tuareg community. Part II examines the factors shaping external relations among Mali’s Tuareg, the Malian government and France.

French forces are drawing down in Mali, with Paris claiming that much of their work fighting Islamists and terrorists in the Sahara desert is done and can now be left to the Malian army and its regional allies. An African Union force will be securing much of the territory regained from Islamist extremists until a U.N. peacekeeping mission is deployed later this year, but the secular, separatist Tuareg rebel group the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) remains in control of the northeastern part of the country around Kidal, with the tacit acceptance of the French. Meanwhile, there are still no political solutions on the table to address the underlying causes of the conflict that broke out in early 2012. As a result, the relationship among Bamako, Paris and the Tuareg remains precarious and characterized by mistrust and the potential for escalation. ...

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