Throughout its post-independence history, Mali has experienced periodic violence between Tuareg rebels and the central government. Civil wars broke out in the 1960s, 1990s, 2000s, and most recently between 2012 and 2015. An influx of jihadist groups after the fall of the Qadhafi regime in Libya (including Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, Ansar al Dine, and the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa, or MUJAO) has complicated the situation in recent years.
In March 2012, a military coup overthrew the elected civilian government just one month before scheduled presidential elections. The AU and ECOWAS intervened to restore the constitutional order, but the following month (April 2012), the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA), headed by Taureg rebels, formed an alliance with jihadist groups to expel Malian forces from the north and declare independence. The alliance was short-lived, and the jihadist forces expelled the Taureg rebels, imposed a harsh form of sharia law, and conquered a territory larger than France. French forces intervened in January 2013 to repel a southward advance of the Islamist fighters on the capital of Bamako. The United Nations established a peacekeeping mission (MINUSMA) in Mali by UNSCR 2100 in April 2013, incorporating and expanding a previously legitimated (UNSCR 2085) African Union/ECOWAS peacekeeping mission. Presidential elections were held in August 2013 and Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta was elected president. The G5 Sahel Joint Force (composed of troops from five countries of the western Sahara) to engage in counter-terrorism operations was formed in 2014 and commenced limited operations in Mali shortly thereafter.
Peace talks with non-terrorist affiliated factions in the north (the MNLA plus other groups that together formed the Coordination of Movement of the Awazad or CMA) led to the June 2013 Ouagadougou preliminary agreement. Talks continued throughout 2014 and early 2015, resulting in the 20 June 2015 signing of the Bamako ceasefire agreement between the Government of Mali, the Plateforme coalition of armed groups, and the Coordinationdes Mouvements de l’Azawad coalition of armed groups. Following a pattern of previous negotiated settlements in the country, the Algerian mediated talks called for increased northern representation in the central government and the integration of rebel fighters in a newly formed security force to be deployed in the north.
In August 2015, some Council members indicated their willingness to consider the adoption of sanctions to address the situation. However, it was not until 29 June 2017, in the midst of ongoing ceasefire violations and continued attacks on UN peacekeepers, that the Security Council adopted UNSCR 2364, threatening to consider the application of targeted sanctions on those individuals who “take actions to obstruct or threaten the implementation of the Agreement, those who resume hostilities and violate the ceasefire, those who attack and take actions to threaten MINUSMA and other international presences, as well as those who provide support to such attacks and actions.”
The analysis of the Mali case is divided into the following episodes (navigatable via the numbers in the top bar):
Episode 1 (5 Sep 2017 - Present)