5 September 2017 - Present
(almost 4 years)
Cease hostilities, Peace enforcement
Sanction Types
  • Travel (individual travel ban)
  • Asset freeze (individual / entity)
Non-UN Sanctions
Regional (AU, ECOWAS), Unilateral (US)
Other Policy Instruments
Diplomacy, Peace operations


Throughout its post-independence history, Mali has experienced periodic violence between Tuareg and Arab 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 civil war in Algeria and following 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 in April 2012, the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA), headed by Tuareg rebels, formed an opportunistic alliance with jihadist groups to expel Malian forces from the north and declare the independence of Azawad. The alliance was short-lived, and the jihadist forces expelled the Tuareg rebels, imposed a harsh form of sharia law, and occupied a territory larger than France. French forces intervened in January 2013 to repel a southward advance of the Islamist fighters on Mopti, in the central region of Mali. The United Nations established a peacekeeping mission (MINUSMA) in Mali in 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 - Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, and Chad) 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 Awazad Movements (CMA) led to the June 2013 Ouagadougou preliminary agreement. Talks continued throughout 2014 and early 2015, resulting in the signing first in Algiers on 15 May 2015 and then in Bamako on 20 June 2015 of an Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation (APR, also known as the Algiers Agreement ) between the Government of Mali, a government-proxy coalition of armed groups called the Plateforme, and the coalition of armed opposition groups of the CMA. 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. Article 54 of the agreement also states that the international community is the guarantor of the Algiers Agreement and, if need be, that the AU and the UN Security Council should take measures against those who would block its implementation.

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 by Platforme and CMA 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 (also navigable via the numbers in the top bar):