June 8, 2018
Discussion on Communal Violence, Security Threats, and Elections in Mali
By Africa Center
In their remarks, Ibrahim and Zapata discussed the key findings of their report, which explains the main factors behind high-risk intercommunal conflicts in Mali, plausible scenarios that could lead to an escalation in violence against civilians, and a number of recommendations to mitigate these risks. In particular, the authors underscored four key objectives, ranging from suggested improvements to the Malian state and the implementation of the Algiers Accord to improved intelligence collection and dissemination strategies.
In his response, Keïta acknowledged that Mali has been in a rebuilding phase since the 2012 coup d'état, struggling with a dearth of intelligence and inefficient, albeit improving, monitoring and evaluation of crisis areas. He stressed that the government is working hard to address the challenges of security sector reform and regain the public’s trust; however, the reform process will take time. Keïta also discussed recent strides taken to improve professionalism within the Malian Armed Forces, as well as the need to improve the effective capacity of the United Nations’ Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) to respond to security threats in Mali.
A discussion, moderated by Dr. J. Peter Pham, Atlantic Council vice president and Africa Center director, followed Ibrahim, Zapata, and Keïta’s remarks, focusing on the strategic review of the UN MINUSMA and the implications of the upcoming presidential elections, scheduled for July 29, 2018, on the security situation in and around Mali.
Also in attendance and participating in the discussion was Mr. James P. Rubin, former assistant secretary of state for public affairs; Mr. Christopher Runyan, acting deputy assistant administrator, Bureau for Africa, US Agency for International Development; and LTG William E. Ward, USA (Ret.), former commander, US Africa Command; as well as a number of US and non-US government officials, business leaders, and civil society actors.