Just a couple months ago the government in Mali was struggling to maintain control with the northern rebels pushing the government’s forces further and further south as it looked as if the rebels and islamist groups had gained the ultimate advantage against the regime. Fast forward to today, and after the allotted effort of AU troops most notably from Chad and other neighboring counties, and the eventual and even more important involvement of the French against the rebels and the Islamist groups rampant in the north, the coalition has been vital to turning the tide around for the Mali government and ushering in what could be the first step to a real end to the internal conflict that has been ravishing the country.
Now Mali will be faced with all the challenges of post-civil conflict and it will be vital for the Malian government to address all these challenges head on to prevent another conflict from starting up with the presence of the opposition in the North weakened but not destroyed. This process and the future of the Mali situation are important because gaining stability for Mali will not only benefit its people, but the region as a whole from greater conflict. Also its success is important because with the reality of a successful joint West/African coalition force in stopping the conflict if the same cooperation can be used to ensure Mali a secure future the case study of Mali will be vital for the success of coalitions in future conflicts and beyond.
Due to the weakened state of the Malian military it is vital that the international community make an effort to continue to support Mail in all aspects of its recovery especially when it comes to maintaining peace and keeping pressure on the MNLA (National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad) and the AQIM (al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb) in the North and keeping things stable as the thousands of refugees that have been displaced start to return back to their homes. It is also vital that the international community and policy makers support the Malian government in the process of getting the necessary elections issued and successfully completed within the right time frame.
Most importantly the international community and policy makers must get behind the Malian government in its efforts to facilitate reconciliation and understanding between the Mali people and we see this being done already with the AU and UN backing of The Reconciliation and Dialogue Commission within the country. This dialogue will be vital to bringing an end to this chapter of conflict, facilitate the grievances of the Tuaregs and Arabs in the North, and instill confidence back into the Malian government and its ability to effectively govern. Doing these things will give Mali the best chance to become an example of effective international cooperation and the re-installment of one of Africa’s standing democracies.
Mali: Security, Dialogue, and Meaningful Reform
Mali: The African Union Welcomes the Establishment of the Reconciliation and Dialogue Commission in Mali