Many Mali observers were surprised by the coup in March 2012. The subsequent seizure of over 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.
Mali's New President
Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta's reputation suggests he is an assertive believer in national unity. He may be better placed to persuade southern Malians to accept uncomfortable compromises, says Paul Melly.
French Policy in Africa
France wields a level of influence in sub-Saharan Africa that it cannot command anywhere else in the world. The Mali intervention may reshape the cultural and political context for French engagement in Africa, says this paper. Read.
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. Read.
Mali's New Hope for Unity
Paul Melly, Expert Comment, August 2013
Mali's Election: Big Risks – But Delay Would Be Dangerous
Paul Melly, Expert Comment, July 2013
A New Way to Engage? French Policy in Africa from Sarkozy to Hollande
Paul Melly and Vincent Darracq, May 2013
Mali: From Crisis Intervention to Potential Recovery
Event Highlights, February 2013
Milestone for Africa
Knox Chitiyo, The Guardian, January 2013
Why Mali Matters
Paul Melly, Expert Comment, January 2013
Mali Crisis: Intervention Strategy
Alex Vines, 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.