Wolfram Lacher, Denis M. Tull

Mali: Beyond Counterterrorism

SWP Comment 2013/C 07, February 2013, 7 Pages


West Africa

The international military intervention in Mali is fraught with risks. The current campaign against extremists in Mali’s north could easily turn into a conflict between local communities. Attacks on civilians by the Malian army and African troops could cause the situation to escalate further. Progress in the north requires a government in the capital Bamako that has widespread support, which is currently lacking. The EU training mission in Mali (EUTM Mali) will be confronted with the coup leaders of 2012 and ethnic militias in the army. By intervening, external actors are embarking on a long-term involvement in a complex conflict. To minimize these risks, stronger external focus is needed on the political process in Bamako, and the coordination of regional and international efforts must improve.

SWP Research Paper