Mali: The Need for Determined and Coordinated International Action

"The situation in Mali remains confused six months after President ATT was overthrown. Already destabilised by Tuareg and Islamist armed rebellions that took control of the north, the coup completed the disintegration of the Malian state. Partly due to deep divisions within the political, military and spiritual elites, the turmoil is paralysing the search for consensus on how to manage the government, define priorities and set an action plan for the transitional period. But ECOWAS also has a share of responsibility in the confusion: it threatened a military intervention and started preparing it without having the means to execute it and without realising that the Malian state and the armed forces had collapsed. The UN high-level meeting on the Sahel on 26 September must not only discuss an ambitious integrated strategy for the Sahel which will be gradually implemented over the next few years. Indeed, for Mali, the time for prevention or debate has passed. The next six months will be decisive. Malian leaders must take their responsibilities and work together rather than tear one another to pieces, although they are not the only ones to have contributed to the grave insecurity in northern Mali and instability in the Sahel and North Africa. The UN and member states of the Security Council must give this crisis the political attention and material resources it deserves."