Author Archives: brucewhitehouse

Desperate for a way out

“A tragedy of epic proportions” — that’s how the International Organization for Migration describes what’s been happening to the migrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean this year. On the African continent, while instability and economic stagnation have driven thousands of … Continue reading

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What Mali’s recent past reveals about its present woes, Part 2: Of chiefs, slaves, and “paranoid nationalism”

In his recent book From Empires to NGOs in the West African Sahel, historian Gregory Mann describes how state sovereignty was fashioned in the Sahel following the end of colonial rule. In the previous post, we discussed his concept of … Continue reading

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What Mali’s recent past reveals about its present woes, Part 1: The road to nongovernmentality

These days the sovereignty of the Malian state looks more hypothetical than ever. The government’s control over its northern regions ranges from tenuous to nonexistent. Kidal has been firmly under the rule of Tuareg separatists for two years, while only … Continue reading

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Mali’s peace negotiations: Déjà vu all over again?

[This piece originally appeared on the blog Fragile States.] Starting in July 2014, representatives of Mali’s central government and various northern rebel factions took part in peace talks hosted in Algiers. Following the latest round in November, a draft agreement … Continue reading

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Why Ebola can–and must–be stopped in Mali

To bring us up to date on efforts to contain Mali’s Ebola outbreak, here is a post from a guest blogger who recently concluded a visit to Bamako where he observed the ongoing public health campaign by various international, governmental, and … Continue reading

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A hard look at Mali’s problems

It’s not yet clear whether Mali will avoid its own outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus. Thus far only one case of infection has been confirmed within Mali’s borders, on 23 October. A Doctors Without Borders representative credits a rapid … Continue reading

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Book review: Can Judd Ryker save Malian democracy?

There are not a great many novels set in Mali. The country has had its own small literary scene since the 1950s, featuring writers like Amadou Hampâté Bâ, Massa Makan Diabaté, Moussa Konaté, and Yambo Ouologuem. Maryse Condé’s Segu (1987) and … Continue reading

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IBK, one year on: A voter’s remorse

Editor’s note: It’s been one year since Ibrahim Boubacar Keita or “IBK” was sworn in as Mali’s president. To mark the occasion, a Malian guest blogger offers his reflections on IBK’s record in office and the promises he made to … Continue reading

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Can Malians trust each other?

As the Malian government and northern rebels prepare for negotiations called for by the “roadmap” recently signed in Algiers, it’s worth asking how much trust exists between the different sides. Afrobarometer survey data collected last December suggests that inter-ethnic trust … Continue reading

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Mali vs. the West

Is Mali the victim of a shadowy global conspiracy? Malians are pondering this question more and more, and for many of them the answer is a clear “yes.” Surveying the chaos engulfing their country and region, they see the hidden … Continue reading

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