RUSI JournalVolume 158Issue 1members only

Mali: West Africa's Afghanistan

Recent events in Mali and France's subsequent intervention raise questions about the roots of the conflict in a state that used to be considered an example of good governance in West Africa

For over a decade Mali has been viewed as a poster child of good governance, secularism and tolerance and as a bulwark against radical Islam. Yet three inter-related sources of insecurity - Tuareg nationalism, the rise of Islamism and the nature of Mali's post-independence state - coalesced to bring about a takeover of northern Mali by Islamist forces. The rise of the Islamists, in turn, prompted Western - predominantly French - and regional intervention. Looking beyond

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