Since 2012, Mali has faced a volatile crisis as political armed groups, including ethnic based movements, jihadist groups and transnational criminal networks, fight for hegemony and the control of trafficking routes in the North. The 2015 peace agreement remains very difficult to implement and signatory groups still resort to violence to settle differences. Jihadist violence against security forces is increasing and militants have gone rural to capitalise on local conflicts and the absence of the State to secure safe havens and new recruits. Mali’s instability has regional consequences as violent extremism spills into neighbouring countries. Through field research, timely reports and advocacy with regional and local actors, Crisis Group seeks to broaden understanding of the complex roots of violence in Mali via local, gendered and regional lenses and to find solutions to problems of governance.
In northern Mali, fighting has resumed between armed groups signatory to the 2015 peace agreement and government forces, even as clashes with jihadists continue. Bamako's initiative for an inter-Malian dialogue constitutes an opportunity to restore calm.
Bamako announced withdrawal from West African regional bloc alongside Burkina Faso and Niger, dealing blow to regional integration; junta also ended 2015 Algiers Accord with separatist rebels.
Junta announced leaving ECOWAS, defying pressure to restore constitutional rule. Junta leaders of Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger 28 Jan announced leaving ECOWAS, denouncing “inhumane” sanctions imposed by regional bloc following coups. ECOWAS immediately said three countries were “important members of the Community” and bloc “remains committed to finding a negotiated solution to the political impasse”; also said it had not yet received formal withdrawal notification.Bamako terminated 2015 Algiers peace agreement, launched own peace initiative. Amid resumption of hostilities in northern Mali in recent months, coalition of 2015 Algiers Accord signatory armed groups, Permanent Strategic Framework (CSP), 2 Jan rejected junta-proposed inter-Malian dialogue for peace and reconciliation, denouncing manoeuvre to definitively invalidate Algiers accord and sideline international mediation. Diplomatic spat with Algiers over Algeria’s mediation role persisted despite Algerian ambassador returning to Bamako 5 Jan and Malian ambassador returning to Algeria 7 Jan. Junta 25 Jan declared “immediate termination” of Algiers Accord, accusing Algeria of interfering in its affairs, and next day issued decree establishing committee to organise national peace and reconciliation dialogue.State violence against civilians continued amid conflict with jihadist groups. In north, air force 5 Jan carried out drone strike against civilian vehicles in Almoustarat area, Gao region, killing three; govt forces and Russian paramilitary Wagner Group 9 Jan burned several encampments for internally displaced persons in Tabagart village, Timbuktu region, and reportedly killed ten people after abducting them. In centre, army and Wagner group 2 Jan reportedly killed at least ten civilians on outskirts of Touara village, Ségou region. Explosive device likely planted by al-Qaeda-affiliated Group for the Support of Islam and Muslims (JNIM) militants 5 Jan killed five civilians in Ogossagou village, Mopti region.In another important development. FM Abdoulaye Diop 12 Jan said withdrawal of UN mission (MINUSMA) was nearly complete with 95% peacekeepers gone and all assets transferred to state.
MONUSCO has largely failed [in DR Congo] because its deployment has not had a significant impact on security over the past decade.
The Malian army is now demonstrating its ability to organize complex operations, particularly in the center of the country.
What we see in Mali is that Russia does not bring more security or improvements in the situation. The Russian army in Ukraine is not doing well, and in Mali, the Wagner G...
Fighting has resumed between the Wagner Group-supported Malian army and a coalition of armed groups that signed the 2015 peace agreement, jeopardising the accord. Crisis Group experts Ibrahim Maïga and Ibrahim Yahaya Ibrahim explain what caused these clashes and what each side could lose.
At Bamako’s request, the UN Security Council has begun drawing down the UN peacekeeping operation in Mali. In this Q&A, Crisis Group experts Richard Gowan and Daniel Forti explore the implications for blue helmet missions elsewhere on the continent.
On 16 June, Bamako asked the UN Security Council to withdraw the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MINUSMA). In this Q&A, Crisis Group experts Jean-Hervé Jézéquel and Ibrahim Maïga look at the reasons behind the Malian authorities’ decision as well as its consequences.
Crisis-ridden Mali and Burkina Faso face jihadist insurgency and political turmoil. In this excerpt from the Watch List 2023 – Spring Update, Crisis Group outlines what the EU and its member states can do to prevent these two countries from falling into further regional isolation.
In a strategic shift, the Malian authorities have turned away from France and chosen Russia as their main military ally. Relations between Bamako and other Western and regional partners are also deteriorating. Mali and its partners should work to rebuild more balanced diplomatic relations.
The UK, Côte d’Ivoire and other nations plan to pull their troops out of the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali, clouding its future as it undergoes internal review. In this Q&A, Crisis Group experts discuss the mission’s challenges and scenarios for what could come next.
The Malian government’s battle with jihadist insurgencies goes on after two coups in Bamako in the last two years. In this excerpt from the Watch List 2022 – Spring Update, Crisis Group urges the EU and its member states to endorse talks about a return to constitutional rule, increase support for civil society and back electoral reform initiatives.
In this episode of Hold Your Fire!, Richard Atwood and Naz Modirzadeh talk with Sahel experts Ibrahim Yahaya Ibrahim and Richard Moncrieff about France’s announcement it will pull troops from Mali, and what the withdrawal means for the fighting against jihadist insurgents.
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