n Africa Conflict Monthly Monitor - Mali : Islamist extremist gatecrashers shape international intervention plans - : West Africa - issue in focus

Volume 2013, Issue 02
  • ISSN :


Militant Islamist groups have played a central role in steering and defining the security environment in the Azawad region of northern Mali. The lack of structure, or strategic cohesion, of the separatist movement that expelled Malian Government forces from this northern territory, has allowed several loosely-aligned Islamist groups to assert dominance over the rebel movement. In so doing, these Islamist groups have altered both the ideological and strategic characteristics of the separatist movement. Consequently, the Malian Government and international community are responding to a perceived regional stability threat that is dominated by the spectre of terrorism.

In the aftermath of the successful military campaign waged by the Tuaregled National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) against Malian Government forces, the separatist movement has experienced significant internal turmoil and confusion. This has resulted in a loss of strategic cohesion that can be, ironically, linked to the relatively quick and easy defeat of the Malian armed forces. The Malian troops fighting against the MNLA were dramatically undermined by a mutiny and subsequent in the south, which saw a collapse in any coherent strategic command and control. The separatist movement currently lacks the common foe, which gave purpose and focus to the decades-old separatist ambition that drove the January 2012 uprising. The Malian Government itself remains weak after the 12 March 2012 , and as such, poses little to no military or political threat to the separatist movement on its own.

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Article metrics loading...


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error