IPI HomePublicationsPolicy PapersThreats to Security in the Sahel: The Mali Crisis

 

print print  |  share share back back

King Fahd Bridge, Bamako. Photo Credit: Derek Henry Flood

Policy Papers - December 18, 2012

Threats to Security in the Sahel: The Mali Crisis

Mohamed Mahmoud Mohamed Salah

 

 

This issue brief by an expert in Mauritania provides a perspective on current threats to peace and security in the Sahel and specifically Mali. It includes historical background and scenarios for the future of the region.

The optimistic scenarios, which the author admits are not the most likely, would entail two components:

1. The restoration of authority and legitimacy to the central government in Bamako.
2. An agreement by the international community to provide the Malian government with all of the support it needs.

Pessimistic scenarios include:

1. The "Afghanization" of Mali, in which an Islamic state dominated by al-Qaeda develops in northern Mali.
2. The "Somalization" of Mali, in which a complete collapse of state authority leads to perpetual war and chaos, making the agents of organized crime the only true beneficiaries.

The brief was produced by IPI's Africa Program in partnership with the Mauritania-based think tank, the Centre for Strategies for Security in the Sahel Sahara Region (Centre 4S). It was published in French in June 2012 and translated into English by Annie Jacobs.

About the author:
Mohamed Mahmoud Mohamed Salah is a professor of law, attorney-at law, and researcher at Centre 4S.

Read original French version

The Global Observatory

As Nature of Conflict Changes, Is International Humanitarian Law Still Relevant?
In this interview, Françoise Bouchet-Saulnier, legal director of Doctors Without Borders, discusses the relevance of humanitarian law in today's conflicts.

Key Global Events to Watch in April
A list of key upcoming meetings and events with implications for global affairs.

2014 Top 10 Issues to Watch in Peace & Security: The Global Arena
A list of ten key issues to watch that are likely to impact international peace and security in 2014, compiled by IPI's Francesco Mancini.

The Global Observatory, produced by IPI, provides timely analysis on peace and security issues, interviews with leading policymakers, interactive maps, and more.

Recent Events

April 05, 2014
IPI Opens Middle East Regional Office
International Peace Institute President Terje Rød-Larsen inaugurated IPI’s new Middle East Regional Office with a recognition of the area’s critical importance to the world and the rapid political changes underway in the countries of the region, and he asserted that IPI has an “important role” to play there.

March 26, 2014
Derek Plumbly on Lebanese Resilience Amid Rising Challenges
Lebanon has exceeded expectations in dealing with the continuing fallout from the crisis in neighboring Syria, said Derek Plumbly, United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon, on March 26th. Speaking at the International Peace Institute, Mr. Plumbly praised the Lebanese people for “actually sustaining a measure of stability in their country.”

March 25, 2014
Adebajo, Panel Discuss African and African-American Nobel Peace Laureates
The ten Africans and three African-Americans who have won the Nobel Peace Prize comprise a complex group of peace leaders, said Adekeye Adebajo, Executive Director of Centre for Conflict Resolution, on March 25th. He spoke as part of a panel at the International Peace Institute’s launch of Africa’s Peacemakers, Nobel Laureates of African Descent, edited by Mr. Adebajo.

View More