The Africa Center for Strategic Studies (ACSS) hosted a pair of expert panels February 6, 2013, that examined the actors and drivers of instability in northern Mali and the requirements for stabilizing this territory beyond the near-term military intervention. The roundtable, attended by more than 200 people in Washington, D.C., sought to highlight the complexity of the stabilization challenge in northern Mali. The event took place at facilities of the National Defense University and was attended by international diplomatic, military, and academic officials, as well as by representatives of nongovernmental organizations.
The first panel, “Clarifying the Forces of Instability in Mali,” examined the groups and events that led to deteriorating security and international intervention in northern Mali. Dr. Djallil Lounnas, Professor of Insurgency and Transnational Radicalism at Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane, Morocco, provided an account of the armed actors in Mali as well as their agendas and motives. Rida Lyammouri, Northern Mali Analyst at Navanti Group, warned that the increased presence of transnational organized criminal groups in the region is empowering militant Islamist groups. Dr. Mathurin C. Houngnikpo, Academic Chair in Civil Military Relations at the Africa Center, stressed the importance of understanding the underlying grievances of marginalized populations in the North, especially those of the Tuareg ethnic group. The panel was chaired by Joseph Siegle, Africa Center Director of Research.
TRANSCRIPT: ACSS Roundtable 1: [PDF]
TRANSCRIPT: ACSS Roundtable 2: [HTML]
Panel 1 – [VIDEO]
ACSS Panels Discuss Priorities for Restoring Stability in Mali