Tag: Mali

Building the capacity of the Malian police: Why MINUSMA needs to think outside the box

This article summarizes the policy brief “Building the capacity of the Malian police: Why MINUSMA needs to think outside the box” by the Institute for Security Studies. This policy brief examines the police component of the MINUSMA and recommends how the capacity-building aspect of the peacekeeping mission can be strengthened. It also identifies the real challenges facing MINUSMA and pin points its shortcomings.

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Operation Barkhane: A Show of Force and Political Games in the Sahel-Sahara

In July 2014, French President François Hollande launched Operation Barkhane; a counter-terrorism effort targeting terrorist groups in Sahel countries. This new mission is the continuation of Operation Serval launched in January 2013. This new operation shows continuity in France’s defence policy, as well as the country’s need to maintain its political influence in Africa by enhancing military operational capacities.

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Consolidating Peace in Mali

Mali faced a serious existential crisis in 2012. Its political institutions all but collapsed following a military coup, even as its sovereignty was under threat by a secessionist insurgency and Islamist military offensive. The French-led stability operation in 2013 may have prevented the country’s immediate collapse, but it did little to alter any of the structural realities that triggered this series of crises in the first place.

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Mali: Cautious Optimism as Transition Begins

At the request of interim President Dioncounda Traoré, France led a military intervention to assist the Malian army and AFISMA in retaking Northern Mali. Since then, France has made significant gains and the fighting has subsided. At the national level, Malians have begun to implement a number of initiatives.

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Securing the Sahel: From Mali to Niger

In the western Sahel, limited resources, institutional resistance, and little political will for security sector reform (SSR) exacerbates the threat of a regional conflict, as French and African military forces push Mali’s Islamist rebels into surrounding countries. This is particularly true of Niger, where SSR is a relatively unknown concept and where there has been a long history of violence with the same groups that destabilized Mali.

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Counterinsurgency and the Iron Clad Law of Second Order Consequences

There are two rather over-used, if entirely accurate, rules in the UK Armed Forces. The first is von Moltke, the Elder’s maxim that “no plan ever survives contact with the enemy” (meaning be ready to adapt — and quickly — for every eventuality). The second is Dwight D Eisenhower’s observation that “plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” These basic principles are inculcated into every military officer again and again.

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