Many Mali observers were surprised by the coup in March 2012. The subsequent seizure of half of the country's territory by Islamists and Touareg groups piqued fears of the spread of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, the potential influence of Boko Haram across Nigeria's northern border, the largely undetected criminal activity in remote desert areas and the effects of chronic food insecurity across the western Sahel. As France's intervention in Mali draws greater international attention, this collection of resources assesses dynamics in Mali and the western Sahel region.
French Policy in Africa
Programme Paper, May 2013
France wields a level of influence in sub-Saharan Africa that it cannot command anywhere else in the world. he Mali intervention may reshape the cultural and political context for French engagement in Africa, in both military and wider political terms, says this paper by Paul Melly and Vincent Darracq.
BBC News, April 2013
A political settlement may soon be negotiable in Bamako, but no obvious early route to northern peace is in sight - and all the ingredients for a renewed local conflict in the south of the north are there, writes Paul Melly.
Intervention to Recovery
Event Highlights, February 2013
At an event a panel, including Ibrahima Diane, Editor, BBC Afrique, considered viable options for stabilizing the country in the context of its deep-rooted political and development challenges and position in the strategically important Sahel region
Milestone for Africa
The Guardian, January 2013
The Mali government has voluntarily ceded its sovereignty to legitimize the multinational intervention, writes Knox Chitiyo. Africa's security is increasingly seen through the lens of collective regional and continental security.
Mali Crisis: Intervention Strategy
Expert Comment, January 2013
A solution to the crisis will need to be multi-tiered. Mali needs a credible elected government following last years' coup, and control over the north must be restored through international intervention, writes Alex Vines.
A New Way to Engage? French Policy in Africa from Sarkozy to Hollande
Paul Melly and Vincent Darracq, May 2013
Why Mali Matters
Paul Melly, Expert Comment, January 2013
A Decade of African Peace and Security Architecture
Alex Vines, International Affairs, January 2013
The Malian Army is Overwhelmed/Die Malische Armee ist Völlig Überfordert
Alex Vines, Die Welt, January 2013
Gaddafi's Guns Trigger Collapse
Paul Melly, The World Today, December 2012
Mali Timeline >>
Further Resources on the Sahel
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Alex Vines, Expert Comment, December 2012
Alex Vines explains the Central African Republic's long history of chronic instability.
Africa's Security and Stability: Key Issues and Opportunities for Progress
Event Audio, November 2012
Dr Amandine Gnanguenon, French Military Academy, and Dr David Chuter, Lecturer at Sciences Po, reflect on the changing nature of the security threats across Africa.
US Perspectives on Instability in the Sahel
Event Audio + Transcript, October 2012
Dr Reuben Brigety, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of African Affairs, US Department of State discusses how the US government planned to engage with the western Sahel to combat insecurity and organized crime in the region.
Strategic Posture Review: Algeria
World Politics Review Report, July 2012
Dr Claire Spencer examines the effect which regional security threats have on Algeria’s external relationships.
Niger's Growing Regional and International Importance
Event Audio, June 2012
President Mahamadou Issoufou of the Republic of Niger, discusses his strategy for responding to the evolving security situation and the humanitarian crises in the Sahel.
Mali: Is There a Route Back to Democratic Stability?
Expert Comment, March 2012
Paul Melly on the causes and likely consequences of March 2012's coup d’etat in Mali.
Negotiating with the Neighbours: Niger's Regional Policy and Influence
Event Summary, December 2011
Mohamed Bazoum, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Niger discusses the repercussions of the conflict in Libya for Niger and the region.
Food Crisis in West Africa: Action Needed
Expert Comment, December 2011
Rob Bailey highlights the need for international agencies and governments to act early to ensure that easily predictable food crises in the Sahel are avoided.
Growing Instability in the Western Sahel: Experiences and Responses
Event Audio + Transcript, December 2011
Several speakers offered their perspectives on the dangers which the Sahel's interlinked crises pose to Africa and to Europe.
France and Africa after the Libya Intervention
Event Summary, October 2011
Stéphane Gompertz, French Foreign Ministry, reflects on the new realities in Africa brought about by the revolutions in North Africa and NATO's intervention in Libya.