Journal Article

IDS Bulletin Vol. 43 Nos. 4

Criminal Networks and Conflict-resolution Mechanisms in Northern Mali

Published on 1 January 2012

Northern Mali faces three principle, intertwining security threats: trafficking, rebellious uprisings and terrorist activity.

Any attempts at maintaining law and order are undermined by the fragility of state structures. These threats also weaken the socioeconomic fabric of local communities and Malian national and territorial unity.

The Malian government endeavours to address these challenges by adopting and implementing security and anti-terrorism policies, as well as social and economic development programmes. External partners support the Malian government in its efforts through a variety of joint anti-terrorism and development policies aiming to strengthen the state’s operational capacity in the region. Furthermore, local communities work alongside state actors in the development and securitisation of Northern Mali by employing traditional conflict-management mechanisms (intercommunity and interclan solidarity systems). This strategy may considerably reduce the risk of open conflict and contribute to the establishment of a multilevel shared governance system.

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This article comes from the IDS Bulletin 43.4 (2012) Criminal Networks and Conflict‐resolution Mechanisms in Northern Mali

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Sidibé, K. (2012) Criminal Networks and Conflict-resolution Mechanisms in Northern Mali. IDS Bulletin 43(4): 74-88

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Kalilou Sidibé

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Institute of Development Studies
Sidibé, Kalilou


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