Tag Archives: politics

The paths of conflict diverge

As French troops hunted Islamist fighters in northern Mali this past winter, historian Greg Mann said that what was taking place in the region was not one war, but several. For a few months starting in January 2013, the various … Continue reading

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Polling the Malian public

One year ago I wrote about Bamako’s “lone pollster,” an independent, unaffiliated Malian applied economic statistician doing his own surveys of public opinion in Mali’s capital city. Mr. Sidiki Guindo is still at it, and has just come out with … Continue reading

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Why Mali won’t be ready for July elections

Elections must be held in Mali, and soon; of that there can be no doubt. Mali desperately needs new leadership. The current caretaker government, put in place last year after negotiations between ECOWAS and the junta that ousted the unpopular … Continue reading

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The floating hippo

Author’s note: a few months ago, historians Baz Lecocq (Ghent University) and Gregory Mann (Columbia University) assembled a multinational, interdisciplinary team of Mali scholars to write a comprehensive analysis of that country’s crisis. In all, eight researchers specializing in diverse … Continue reading

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Mali’s coup, one year on

It was a year ago this morning that we woke up in Bamako to a changed reality. Soldiers at a barracks outside the city had mutinied against their commanders, taken over state broadcasting and the presidential palace, and toppled the … Continue reading

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Six steps to fix a broken Mali

It’s too soon to declare Operation Serval a success, and there are already concerns about its eventual end, but the French-led military intervention in Mali has at least brought the country back from the brink of disaster, and opened up … Continue reading

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The north, the army, and the junta

The Chadian government’s announcement of the deaths of two top commanders of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, Abou Zeid and Mokhtar Belmokhtar, made headlines in the last week — although the French and Malian governments have so far given … Continue reading

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Understanding Mali’s “Tuareg problem”

Last week I took part in a “teach-in” organized by Michigan State University devoted to the ongoing crisis in Mali. A half-dozen Africanist scholars joined a pair of retired U.S. ambassadors to discuss the origins and consequences of that country’s … Continue reading

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Next, the hard bit

According to Al Jazeera, French forces have captured the airport a couple of kilometers outside Timbuktu. Footage from the network also shows a French column advancing northward near Niafunk√© being welcomed along the way. But the Ahmed Baba Institute has … Continue reading

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Malian voices united (mostly)

For outsiders, among the most remarkable aspects of life in Mali is the music, the first of many things I fell in love with while living there in the late 1990s. Western journalists writing about the country’s worsening conflict this … Continue reading

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