Special Report: Mali’s Conflict, the Sahel’s Crisis

Special Report: Mali’s Conflict, the Sahel’s Crisis

Editor’s note: This report was originally published on Oct. 30, 2012, and updated with new material on Jan. 21, 2013.

France’s sudden military intervention in Mali has put the country’s twin crises at the top of the international agenda. A loose coalition of Tuareg nationalists, Islamic militias and transnational criminal networks has split the country in half, with a military-led coup government in Bamako seemingly incapable of crafting a decisive response. Meanwhile, the spillover is increasingly threatening regional stability. Updated to include new developments, this WPR special report reviews the conflict in Mali and the crisis in the Sahel.


Is Mali Africa’s War Now?
By Richard Gowan
January 21, 2013

Mali PM’s Resignation Puts Junta Control Back in the Spotlight
By Catherine Cheney
December 13, 2012

Northern Stalemate Opens Space for Islam in Mali’s Politics

By Alex Thurston
September 4, 2012

As Crisis Gathers, Northern Mali Needs More Than Just Military Intervention
By Peter Dörrie
June 14, 2012

The Origins and Consequences of Tuareg Nationalism
By Peter Dörrie
May 9, 2012

Mali’s Tuareg Rebellion Puts Region at Risk
By Peter Dörrie
March 14, 2012

Global Insider: Tuareg Rebel Groups
Interview with Baz Lecocq
October 31, 2011


Islamist Terror Groups Expand in Africa’s Power Vacuums
By Catherine Cheney
October 1, 2012

Instability in Mali Complicates Regional Approach to AQIM
By Lesley Anne Warner
April 5, 2012

Algeria Moves to Boost Regional Cooperation on AQIM Threat
By Catherine Cheney
December 23, 2011

Sahel & North Africa

With Eye on Mali, Niger Adopts New Strategy for Tuareg North
By Alex Thurston
October 9, 2012

Strategic Posture Review: Algeria
By Claire Spencer
July 25, 2012

France, Algeria Diverge on Regional Security
By Laurence Aïda Ammour
July 23, 2012

Unrest in Mauritania Could Constrain Regional Security Role
By Alex Thurston
June 18, 2012

Mauritania Feels Heat From Regional Turmoil
By Dario Cristiani
February 17, 2011

Africa’s Layered Approach to Regional Crisis Management
By Gilbert M. Khadiagala
May 22, 2012

ECOWAS Targets West Africa’s Coups
By Alex Thurston
May 21, 2012

Western Sahara: Forgotten Corner of the Arab Spring
By Christina L. Madden
December 15, 2011

Burkina Faso’s Compaoré Facing Perfect Storm?
By Alex Thurston
May 3, 2011

External Partners

For U.S. in Africa, Benign Neglect No Longer an Option
By Richard Downie
January 8, 2013

U.S. Debates Framework for Counterterror Operations in Africa
By Peter Tinti
January 2, 2013

France Raises Its U.N. Profile — for Now
By Richard Gowan
December 3, 2012

Long History, Uncertain Results for U.S. Counterterror Efforts in Mali, Sahel
By Peter Tinti
November 30, 2012

France’s Hollande Seeks Reset in Post-Arab Spring Maghreb
By Jonathan Laurence
October 3, 2012

Who Will Fight Europe’s Proxy Wars?
By Richard Gowan
August 6, 2012

EU Sends Police Trainers to Africa to Contain AQIM Threat
By Guy Taylor
December 9, 2011

Africom’s Message Evolving, but Mission Unchanged
By Guy Taylor
September 20, 2011

Africom’s Interventionist Shift Risks Backlash
By Catherine Cheney
June 18, 2012

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