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Liesbeth van der Heide about the Political and Security Reforms Mali needs

Liesbeth van der Heide, Education and Research Staff Member at the Institute of Security and Global Affairs (ISGA), wrote on 20 April in the American news publication, Foreign Policy about the March’s deadly massacre in Mali, which exposed the lack of progress since the country’s peace accords. Furthermore, it shows that many political and security reforms that are needed; ‘Dumping one government won’t fix Mali’.

On Thursday, 19 April, Mali’s prime minister and his government resigned, four weeks after a deadly massacre in the central Mopti region. On March 23, the town of Ogossagou became the latest target in a series of attacks across the country. In the early morning, a group of about 100 armed men arrived in the village on motorcycles and pickup trucks and began to shoot people at will and burned down the village. The attack on Ogossagou, with a death toll of more than 160 from the ethnic Fulani community, marked the single deadliest attack in Mali since the conflict in the country’s north with separatist groups and a jihadi insurgency in 2012.

Attacks in Mali

This attack is part of a spate of intercommunal violence in central Mali, which has intensified in recent months. In the first two months of 2019 alone, the United Nations’ multilateral peacekeeping mission in the country reportedly documented seven violent incidents involving unidentified assailants, resulting in the deaths of at least 49 civilians in the central region.


The protests surrounding the constitutional revisions are not the first ones Mali has faced. Former President Alpha Oumar Konaré attempted to revise the constitution in November 2001, and President Amadou Toumani Touré tried in 2012 but was cut short by a coup. For the new government , the central challenge is to establish both a political framework and a secure environment within which local authorities can govern and police.

Read the full article on Foreign Policy.

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