The sudden collapse of Malian state control in the north of the country in March came as a surprise to international analysts, who viewed the country as a model of democracy and development.
But few imagined that worrying long-term trends could so rapidly translate into a coup and a rebel takeover of the north, including the ancient city of Timbuktu.
Perceptions were mostly still shaped by the image of President Amadou Toumani Toure as the hero of the peaceful putsch that had paved the way for
There was another contributor to the crisis that not even the most acute observers of the Malian scene could have foreseen -- the impact of Colonel
This triggered the sudden return to
In their planning to support the Libyan revolution, Western powers appear to have neglected the impact on its sub-Saharan neighbours. This gap in thinking may reflect the institutional gulf in foreign ministries between sections focused on the
Putting right this oversight will be expensive and fraught with risk. An African intervention force is set to join national troops to tackle the jihadist rebels who have begun to trash the Islamic heritage of Timbuktu and imposed a brutal version of Sharia. But even if the radical Islamists are pushed out of key towns, restoring security and creating a new social and political deal for the region will be a huge challenge.
- Bibi has Iran In His Sights, But First He has an Election to Win
- Nuclear Deal with Iran Possible If Bad Habits Change
- Turkey: Zigzag Diplomacy Leads Nowhere
- Syrian Chemical Weapons Threat Eerily Familiar?
- Tunisia and the Struggles Of Drafting a New Constitution
- Egypt: Dark Shadows
- Mortality Alters the Arab Order
- Libya: Gaddafi's Guns Trigger Collapse
- Egypt: The Roundabout Road Back To Tahrir
- Healthcare System Crumbling in Syria as War Rages
- Syria: Al Assad's Last Stand
- Every Day Brings New Drama in the Middle East
- Egypt and the Strategic Balance
- Gaza Clash Reveals Morsi's True Colors
- Syria: Is the World Waiting for Genocide?
- T-ball War in the Middle East
- To The Brink Again for Israel and Gaza
- What Exacly Would Israel Like to Do with Its Palestinian Population?
- 'Pharaoh' Morsi
- Egypt's 'Moderate' Despot
- Israel and Gaza: Then and Now
- Egypt, Gaza and the Sinai Peninsula
- Iran's Agenda in the Gaza Offensive
(c) 2012 Tribune Media Services, Inc.