Drug Trafficking in Northern Mali: A Tenuous Criminal Equilibrium

An aerial view of the area surrounding Anefis and Kidal, in northern Mali. (Photo: UN Photo)

Despite 8 years of violent insurgency in northern Mali, the region continues to be a transit zone for regional and global drug-trafficking networks. The networks have endured by ingratiating themselves with a rotating cast of actors whose tactics are based on pragmatic local conditions rather than ideology. For example, an implicit nonaggression pact among key elements of the CMA, Plateforme, and jihadist groups enables traffickers to continue unmolested. International partners should help regional governments better understand and dismantle these networks.

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Security Topics:  Combating Organized Crime