The report covers factors including: Islamist terrorism; criminal networks and trafficking (of arms, drugs, cigarettes, and vehicles); and Tuareg rebellions against the Malian government. It also considers state weakness, including the weakness of state security structures in the north, and the role of neighbouring countries, ECOWAS, the AU and other international actors.
Practical recommendations in the literature include:
- Adopt a burden-sharing and a multi-tiered approach that builds on the strengths of different actors
- Support livelihoods and integrate Tuareg concerns over land and livelihood opportunities through inclusive political engagement
- Seek to weaken incrementally the criminal networks in Mali’s north through coherent international support for regional cooperation
- Establish a common position on ransom payments
- Consider joint anti-terrorism and development policies aiming to strengthen the state’s operational capacity to deliver security and development
- Draw on traditional conflict-management mechanisms, such as inter-community and inter-clan solidarity systems
- Be sensitive to historical tensions between the Hausa and Tuareg ethnic groups.