No plan for Mali; regional stability at risk

By August 26, 2020

Mali (MNN) — Mali remains in flux today following three-day meetings between regional leaders and military junta. Decision-makers couldn’t agree on either of the proposed solutions – reinstating Mali’s ousted president, or three years of military rule as a transition to a civilian government.

ECOWAS representatives are meeting virtually today to discuss next steps, Africa News reports. Mali’s 2012 Tuareg rebellion is on everyone’s mind. The uprising “created a fertile ground for Islamist insurgency to take over northern regions of the country. Because of that, Christians had to flee,” Open Doors’ senior analyst Illia Djadi explains.

Tuareg rebels in 2012.
(Photo credit: Magharebia / Wikimedia Commons / CC2.0)

“That’s what many analysts fear now. We don’t want to see the repetition [of] this kind of scenario,” he adds.

“What affects Mali can affect the whole region. That’s the fear.”

In short, Islamic extremists capitalized on Mali’s instability in 2012 and 2013. They took over northern Mali, targeting Christians and forcing thousands to flee.

Many believers have returned in recent years as the situation stabilized. However, fear mounts as they watch current events unfold around them.

“What would happen if the military coup, if this combination of factors will eventually lead to another Islamist insurgency? Maybe taking over again the northern country; we don’t know,” Djadi observes.

“They are already active in that area, but they are not holding a proper territory.”

Mali enters precarious phase

Many Malians want the stability that comes with a sense of security and capable leadership. That’s why most civilians support last week’s coup and the junta takeover. “We have seen civilian power, and they failed to provide security. That’s why people are happy for the military,” Djadi says.

Following widespread anti-government demonstrations, “the military coup [was] the culmination of these protests, and was very welcomed by the vast majority of the people,” he adds.

Civilians may be willing to endure a long wait for government reestablishment. Regional stakeholders, however, see the potential danger following a power vacuum. A military coup triggered the aforementioned Tuareg rebellion in 2012.

Your prayers are critical. If Mali collapses and falls into extremist hands, the rest of West Africa could follow.

“Pray for the stability of Mali, pray for this transition,” Djadi requests. Find tangible ways to support persecuted Christians here.

“[The] last year has been a particularly difficult year. More than 4,000 people lost their lives within the three countries: Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger.”



Header image is a representative photo Peggy und Marco Lachmann-Anke from Pixabay.