Author Archives: brucewhitehouse

In search of Mali’s Russia connection

If you follow press coverage of public events in Mali, particularly street demonstrations, you may have noticed a pattern over the last few years: alongside expressions of anti-French sentiment, which I’ve written about extensively on this blog, are frequently expressions … Continue reading

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“Hands off my junta!”

Or, Why the international community should show post-IBK Mali some love The parallels between this week’s events Bamako and those of March 2012 keep coming. On top of the fact that both began as mutinies at the Soundiata Keita military … Continue reading

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Taking it to the streets

Yes, Mali’s 2020 coup looked a lot like the previous one eight years ago. Frustration had been mounting, both among the general public and among the military. The army had been taking too many casualties up north. Troops in the … Continue reading

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Tuesdays with Mahmoud

During a recent press conference (below), Mahmoud Dicko–former head of Mali’s Haut Conseil Islamique and de facto leader of its political opposition–said that big events in Mali often happen on Tuesdays. The 19 November 1968 coup that overthrew President Modibo … Continue reading

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Sounding the alarm

I received a 15-minute audio clip from a friend via WhatsApp in which an unnamed man, apparently a Malian, discusses Mali’s political situation in a tone of utter desperation and indignation at the fact that seven years of foreign intervention … Continue reading

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The two sides of Mahmoud Dicko

Mali’s political situation is as tense as it’s ever been, with Covid-related economic disruptions added to an already dismal security environment, police violence against civilians, and a growing sense of public alarm at the direction the country is moving in. … Continue reading

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Mali’s existential threat: Jihadism, or the French?

I have tremendous admiration for Salif Keita, who for decades has reigned as the Malian singer best known to Western ears. His recordings, concerts, and activism have made him famous all over the world. With a career dating back to … Continue reading

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The manyamagan

Editor’s note: The role of manyamagan[1] has no equivalent in Western culture. “It is still carried out in several regions of our country,” wrote Aoua Keita in 1975; “it is exclusively female, very often passed down from mother to daughter … Continue reading

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Twilight of the griot

Editor’s note: In preparing a book manuscript on marriage based on 2010-2012  fieldwork, I find some interviews that I can’t integrate into the project. I’ve decided to start posting a few of the more noteworthy ones, translated and edited, to … Continue reading

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A lesson in sociability

While 2018 has been an eventful year for Mali–mostly for the wrong reasons–it’s also seen my least frequent blogging since I began in 2011. Instead of tracking the political and security situation on the ground as it goes from bad … Continue reading

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