Category Archives: Uncategorized

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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Kidal, as seen from Bamako

There are, of course, radically different narratives about what happened in the northern town of Kidal last weekend. One of them, which we’ll call the “loyalist narrative,” says that Moussa Mara, Mali’s dynamic and courageous prime minister, flew to Kidal … Continue reading

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How US military assistance failed in Mali

After Mali emerged from authoritarian rule in 1991, the United States government ramped up┬ábilateral development and military aid to the country’s new, formally democratic regime. American trainers began working with Malian soldiers; those of us who spent time in towns … Continue reading

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Cause for public optimism?

Afrobarometer has recently released the results of a special opinion survey carried out across Mali between 17 December 2013 and 5 January 2014. This survey randomly sampled over 2000 Malians from each of the country’s nine regions and the District … Continue reading

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Happy in Bamako

After all that’s happened in Mali over the last two years, sometimes we need a reminder that living there can be about something other than uncertainty, fear and violence. That people who dwell there can be–and for the most part, … Continue reading

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Sanogo in the clink

I’ve been waiting for just the right reason to bring this blog back from hiatus, and that reason seems finally to have arrived. According to the AFP, “Amadou Sanogo, leader of a 2012 coup that plunged Mali into chaos, was … Continue reading

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Mali’s election: Two cheers for round one

The results are finally in, after five days of nervous expectation. The Ministry of Territorial Administration has released its official vote tally from the 28 July first round of presidential voting [PDF]. Since the ministry, in its inimitably opaque fashion, … Continue reading

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Five key questions about Mali’s election

The international media flock to cover elections for the same reasons they flock to cover sensational courtroom trials: these happenings are scheduled in advance, and have great potential for drama. As another election draws near, the world’s attention is turning … Continue reading

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A glance at Mali’s 2013 presidential candidates

Ready or not, here it comes: the first round of Mali’s presidential election is less than two weeks away.┬áDespite the many technical and political difficulties plaguing the vote’s organization (see a recent analysis I wrote on the International Foundation for … Continue reading

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