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

Caught in the Middle: Civilian Protection in South Sudan
Absent an active effort by the South Sudanese government, the UN Mission will need to adopt a holistic approach to civilian protection.

Key Global Events to Watch in October
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

October 09, 2014
Rethinking Women and Forced Migration
The drastic increase in conflicts around the globe has seen the world’s displaced population pass 55 million people, and the fact that 80% of them are women and children is prompting many to rethink how the international community is responding.

October 09, 2014
Africa: China’s Second Continent
Speaking at an IPI Distinguished Author Series event on October 9th, author Howard French made a case for how Western underestimation of Africa’s economic promise has enabled China to establish an economic and human presence on the continent, leading to the permanent migration there of nearly 2 million Chinese.

September 30, 2014
Vike-Freiberga: Rethinking the United Nations
In a speech delivered at IPI on September 30th, Dr. Vaira Vike-Freiberga gave a sobering historical analysis of the gains and setbacks made by the international system over the past century and, focusing on the UN, she called for a rethinking of the organization’s structure and approach to peace.

View More