马里:国家安全、多边对话及富有意义的改革
马里:国家安全、多边对话及富有意义的改革
Table of Contents
  1. Executive Summary
France’s Troop Withdrawal from Mali
France’s Troop Withdrawal from Mali
Report 201 / Africa

马里:国家安全、多边对话及富有意义的改革

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执行摘要

对马里北部的人民来说,2013年1月11日法国发动军事干预将他们“解放”出来的感觉是实实在在的。这次突然发动但准备充分的军事干预在马里和西非等广大地区获得了广泛支持,一举击退了让马里军队一直束手无策的圣战组织的进攻。法国也借机尝试并摧毁了伊斯兰马格里布基地组织(AQIM)的部队。尽管马里局势比数月前有所好转,但在北部仍有零星战斗的爆发,国家安全、稳定以及各类群体的共存仍然存在巨大威胁。派驻巴马科的区域组织和联合国机构正准备部署一项维稳任务,它们必须尽快就解决危机达成战略共识,以保障地区安全,保护平民,促进马里各族群社区之间的包容性对话,在国家北部重建国家权力机构,并监督马里举行和平、可信的选举活动。

2012年初,阿扎瓦德民族解放运动组织(MNLA)将马里政府军赶出北部地区,并在这片广袤国土上要求独立,马里随即陷入全面动荡。伊斯兰马格里布基地组织起源于阿尔及利亚内战,并在过去十年间在马里北部地区逐步壮大自己的势力。通过建立地方联盟,该组织极大削弱了马里政府以及阿扎瓦德民族解放运动组织在该地区的影响力,建立了自己的圣战武装组织——伊斯兰卫士(Ansar Dine)及西非统一和圣战运动(MUJAO)——并在2012年6月控制了北部地区。所有这些,再加上2012年3月21日的巴马科政变,使得马里陷入困境。西非国家经济共同体(ECOWAS)辛苦筹备的一项部署非洲部队的计划最终在2012年12月20日联合国安理会第2085号决议中勉强通过。

2013年1月圣战组织对马里中心发动的突然攻击被证明是自食恶果。圣战组织没有预料到法国会应临时总统特拉奥雷的要求作出强烈的军事反击。法国部队夺取了三个最重要的北部城镇:加奥、廷巴克图和基达尔,而马里军队除了陪伴法军外没有付出任何努力。法国和乍得军队在没有马里军队的陪伴下进入了马里北端的基达尔地区,主要目的不是为马里夺回该地区,而是直捣伊斯兰马格里布基地组织的老巢,销毁他们的库存武器、弹药、燃料和食品补给,并且在反恐战争的大背景下“善始善终地完成任务”。目前尚未明了是否或何时才能对外宣布:圣战组织的实力被极大削弱,马里平民和非洲领导的马里国际支援使命团(AFISMA)不会再受到恐怖分子的报复袭击。

正如在法国实施干预前一样,现在彻底解决危机的办法仍旧只能是政治干预结合军事措施。马里北部地区仍然动荡不安,基达尔地区也仍然脱离政府的掌控,阿扎瓦德民族解放运动组织声称控制了该地区。马里军队内部分裂严重,无法阻止其士兵对平民犯下种种暴行,特别是平民中的图阿雷格人和阿拉伯人被不分青红皂白地指责为与敌军勾结而深受其害。北部地区的军事行动巩固了临时总统的权力,但前军政府仍具有一定影响力,而平民参政者又似乎没有能力动员民众将国家命运掌握在自己手中。马里政府已经宣布将于7月举行总统大选,然而目前马里在技术、政治、安全和心理等各方面都尚未满足一个真正的投票选举所必备的条件。

即使法国军队继续留在马里,非洲领导的马里国际支援使命团被任命为联合国稳定特派团(目前看来可能性极大),临时政府、参政者和民间社会仍旧面临巨大的政治挑战。在巴马科展开政治对话,对安全部队士兵所犯暴行采取零容忍政策,在各族群社区间进行和谈,以及重新部署北部地区的政府力量,这些举措都是至关重要的。尽管选举必须尽快举行,但也不能不计任何代价。和解工作也应该立即展开。同时应该向北部地区提供基本的社会和经济服务,以此协助成千上万的流民和难民陆续返回家园。激进的舆论导向会构成重大风险,特别是在竞选期间,马里领导者和政府机构应采取坚决行动,防止人们将所有图阿雷格人和阿拉伯人与叛乱分子、恐怖分子和贩毒分子混为一谈。

打击恐怖主义活动本身会分散人们关注北部地区的现实问题。这场危机更主要的根源不是来自于恐怖主义的威胁,而是腐败和渎职、图阿雷格人问题,甚至是南北方的分歧。国际社会必须坚持要求马里领导者承担解决这些问题的责任。马里要重获国家统一和持久稳定,最为合理和现实的解决方法是在所有族群代表之间达成妥协,保证即使最受孤立的群体也能有参与感,并兼顾武器流通和武装团体活动活跃的广阔边境地区的脆弱性。

对区域组织和联合国来说,最重要和最紧迫的挑战是将其立场与马里政治进程协调一致。首先,他们必须说服阿扎瓦德民族解放运动组织——符合其自身最佳利益的选择是放弃武装斗争,商讨如何派代表和支持者参加解决北部核心问题的和谈。其次,他们应该说服马里政府放松参加会谈的先决条件——比如,要求阿扎瓦德民族解放运动组织立即解除武装——因为这将堵死双方和谈的渠道,甚至会影响与阿扎瓦德民族解放运动组织成员的零星接触。西非国家经济共同体、非洲联盟(AU)、联合国安理会、毛里塔尼亚、阿尔及利亚、尼日尔、布基纳法索和法国都必须向巴马科的马里政府和北部武装组织领导人传递统一的消息。然而即便这样也不能解决一切问题。如果不建设新的覆盖所有北非和西非国家的地区安全机制,那么在马里取得的任何战胜恐怖主义、极端主义和贩毒交易的胜利都只能是暂时的。

达喀尔/布鲁塞尔,2013年4月11日

Executive Summary

For the population of northern Mali, the feeling of being “liberated” by the French military intervention launched on 11 January 2013 is real. The sudden, but clearly well-prepared intervention, which received widespread support in Mali, West Africa and beyond, ended the offensive by jihadi groups that the Malian army had been unable to repel. France also took the opportunity to try and destroy al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) forces. Although Mali is in a better place than a few months back, sporadic fighting in the north continues and formidable threats to security, stability and the coexistence of the country’s various communities remain. The authorities in Bamako, regional organisations and the UN, which is preparing to deploy a stabilisation mission, must quickly agree on a strategy for the resolution of the crisis that provides security, protects civilians, promotes an inclusive inter-Malian dialogue, reestablishes state authority in the north and sees peaceful, credible elections.

Mali descended into turmoil at the beginning of 2012 when the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) chased the Malian army out of the north and demanded independence for this vast part of the country. With its roots in the Algerian civil war, AQIM has established itself in northern Mali over the last decade, building local alliances that allowed it to significantly weaken both the state and the MNLA and resulted in armed jihadi groups – Ansar Dine and the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) – taking control of the north in June 2012. This and the coup in Bamako on 21 March 2012 brought the country to its knees. A laboriously prepared Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) plan to deploy an African force was finally, though reluctantly, endorsed by UN Security Council Resolution 2085 on 20 December 2012.

The sudden jihadi offensive towards the centre of the country in January 2013 proved suicidal. The jihadi groups did not anticipate France’s strong military response, following a request from interim President Dioncounda Traoré. The Malian army itself did nothing more than accompany the French forces that took the three most important towns in the north, Gao, Timbuktu and Kidal. French and Chadian troops entered the northernmost Kidal region without the Malians, less to reconquer it for the Malian state than to pursue AQIM combatants into their sanctuaries, destroy stocks of arms, ammunition, fuel and food supplies, and “finish the job” in the context of a declared war against terrorism. Whether or at what point it will be possible to declare the capacities of jihadi groups sufficiently reduced to avoid exposing the civilian population and the forces of the African-led International Support Mission to Mali (AFISMA) to terrorist reprisal attacks is unclear.

Now as much as before the French intervention, a solution to the crisis will only be sustainable if it combines political and military measures. The north remains very insecure and the state is absent from the Kidal region, where the MNLA claims control. Mali’s army is fragmented and incapable of preventing its soldiers from committing atrocities against civilians, notably Tuaregs and Arabs who are indiscriminately accused of collusion with the enemy. The military action in the north has strengthened the president’s authority, but the ex-junta retains influence and civilian political actors look incapable of mobilising citizens to take the country’s destiny into their hands. The government has announced that presidential elections will be held in July, although conditions – technical, political, security and psychological – for a genuine vote look unlikely to be met.

Even if French troops remain and AFISMA is rehatted as a UN stabilisation mission – which currently appear probable – the interim authorities, political actors and civil society face an immense political challenge. Political dialogue in Bamako, zero tolerance for atrocities by members of security forces, intercommunal dialogue and the redeployment of the state in the north are essential. Elections must be held soon, but not at any cost. The work of reconciliation should begin immediately. So too should the provision of basic social and economic services in the north, so as to facilitate the gradual return of thousands of internally displaced and refugees. The radicalisation of public opinion is a major risk, especially during the election campaign, and firm action by Malian leaders and institutions should aim to prevent people lumping together rebels, terrorists and drug traffickers with all Tuaregs and Arabs.

A focus on terrorism alone also risks distracting from the north’s real problems. The roots of the crisis lie much more in corruption and bad governance than they do in the terrorist threat, the Tuareg issue or even the north-south divide. The international community must insist that Malian leaders assume responsibility for tackling these problems. The most reasonable and realistic way for the state to regain its presence across Mali and maintain lasting security is to find a compromise between the representatives of all communities, ensure even the most isolated populations feel included, and take into account the vulnerability of vast border areas to the flow of weapons and armed groups.

The most important and immediate challenge for regional organisations and the UN is to align their positions on the political process. First, they must convince the MNLA that its interests are best served by renouncing its armed struggle and discussing how its representatives and supporters can participate in a dialogue on the north’s real problems. Secondly, they should persuade Bamako that it should not impose so many pre-conditions on talks – such as, for instance, requiring the MNLA to immediately disarm – that it closes the door to dialogue, or even discrete contacts, with MNLA representatives. ECOWAS, the African Union (AU), the UN Security Council, Mauritania, Algeria, Niger, Burkina Faso and France must all send the same message to the authorities in Bamako and the leaders of those armed groups in the north. Even this would not resolve everything, however. Without new regional security mechanisms involving all the countries of North and West Africa, any victory over terrorism, extremism and drug trafficking in Mali will only be temporary.

Dakar/Brussels, 11 April 2013

Podcast / Africa

France’s Troop Withdrawal from Mali

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.

On 17 February, President Emmanuel Macron announced he would withdraw all French troops from Mali after a deployment in the country of almost ten years. In early 2013, French forces together with Chadian troops ousted jihadists from cities and towns in northern Mali, which created space for a peace deal between Bamako and other, non-jihadist rebels. Since then, however, the French-led campaign against militants in the Sahel has struggled against local al-Qaeda and Islamic State branches. French operations have killed jihadist leaders, but militants have extended their reach from northern Mali to its centre and to parts of Niger, Burkina Faso and even Gulf of Guinea countries. Inter-ethnic violence has ballooned. Mali has also suffered two coups over the past couple of years. Relations between Paris and the junta currently holding power have deteriorated sharply, partly because Mali’s military leaders had agreed, mid-2021, to the deployment of Russian private military contractors to help fight jihadists. Popular anger toward France’s deployment has also mounted, seemingly partly fuelled by disinformation. 

This week on Hold Your Fire!, Richard Atwood and Naz Modirzadeh talk with Ibrahim Yahaya Ibrahim and Richard Moncrieff, respectively Crisis Group’s senior Sahel analyst and interim Sahel director, about the French decision, its causes and its implications. They look at the collapse in relations between Bamako and Paris, the direction the junta is currently taking Mali and how other countries in the region have responded. They talk through what the French departure might mean for other forces, including the UN force in Mali and the G5 Sahel regional force. They also examine the repercussions for the balance of force between jihadists and their enemies in the Sahel and ask what a future French presence in the region might look like after the withdrawal from Mali. 

Click here to listen on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

N.B. This episode was recorded before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

For more information, explore Crisis Group’s analysis on our Sahel regional page. For our analysis of African perspectives of the Ukraine War, check out our commentary ‘The Ukraine War: A Global Crisis’.

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