Two quick items.
First, a few important pieces on Mali:
- The government of President Dioncounda Traore has agreed to allow the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to base some 3,000 soldiers in Bamako. The BBC reports that “before the deployment can go ahead, it will need a mandate from the [UN] security council, which earlier rejected an intervention plan because of a lack of detail.”
- International Crisis Group has released a briefing on Mali that urges “determined and coordinated international action.” From the briefing:
All scenarios are still possible, including another military coup and social unrest in the capital, which risks undermining the transitional institutions and creating chaos that could allow religious extremism and terrorist violence to spread in Mali and beyond. None of the three actors sharing power, namely the interim president, Dioncounda Traoré, the prime minister, Cheick Modibo Diarra, and the ex-junta leader, Captain Amadou Sanogo, enjoys sufficient popular legitimacy or has the ability to prevent the aggravation of the crisis. The country urgently needs to mobilise the best Malian expertise irrespective of political allegiance rather than engaging in power plays that will lead the country to the verge of collapse.
- IRIN, finally, has a report on aid delivery to northern Mali: “NGO Médecins du Monde (MDM), active in the north for more than a decade and now with over 250 staff supporting more than 20 health posts, including Kidal hospital, says NGOs have to get beyond the main towns and villages and reach more vulnerable communities in outlying areas.”
Second, this month the Global Observatory of the International Peace Institute is focusing on the Sahel. I have contributed a piece on corruption. If you read the piece, let us know your thoughts here in the comments.