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

Year in Review: Top 10 Peace and Security Reads
The International Peace Institute and its Global Observatory offered research and analysis on a range of topics in peace and security in 2014.

Key Global Events to Watch in December
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

December 15, 2014
Fathi: Iran and the Struggle Between Hardliners and Reformers
Discussing her new book The Lonely War: One Woman’s Account of the Struggle for Modern Iran at IPI on December 15th, author Nazila Fathi said that 35 years after the revolution, Iran is divided between hardliners and a large moderate middle class, but admitted that it is still unclear which of the two sides will gain the upper hand.

December 12, 2014
Effective Governance Key to Africa’s Rise
Good governance is the key to Africa’s rise, but structural challenges are pulling the continent back, according to a new report launched at a December 12th IPI policy forum entitled “Effective Governance in Challenging Environments.”

December 09, 2014
Small States in a Multilateral World
Despite their size and limited resources, small states have an important and crucial role to play in the multilateral system and can leverage their power through cooperation.

View More