Following the attacks in Paris, Mali seemed to be the next target. Mali has been been in a difficult position since 2012 when it went through a military coup. They have also been trying to deal with Tuareg separatists and Islamic extremists. In 2011 after The President of Libya, Mummer Gaddafi died, lawlessness spread throughout the region with a lot of weapons, which made it easier for these groups to come across better arms to fight their wars.(1) The French military decided to go in and get most of the conflict out of the big cities in 2013. Though the french military was diligent, they were not able to drive the extremists away. Attacks, which were mostly limited to the northern part of the country have been coming down to the southern half.(2) The attack that took place at the Radisson is a sign of failing security in the country. The Radisson was a 5-star resort that attracted many foreigners. There is also something very noteworthy about these attacks. Terrorist groups were working together to carry them out. Terrorist groups love when these events are reported and when they get the attention. There are those that think that the groups that committed the attack in Mali (Al-Mourabitoun, Al-Qaeda) are trying to compete with the amount of press that Daesh(ISIS) has been getting.
The situation in Mali will not be solved anytime soon. After French involvement in the country for two years it will take some more military intervention and strong local government support in order for the country to be well off. The military that has been involved has been limited to just being a small group of soldiers in a town that do not really go on very many raids. (3) The extremist groups are growing because the men they recruit do not have much national interest. Their country has not done much for them so they don’t feel like they need to defend it. Also, they are very poor, and terrorist organizations pay more than any job that they can usually get.(4)
A report from Al Jazeera found that there could be multiple motivations behind the attacks and that they are not necessarily tied to the attacks in Paris.
“it is more likely that the carnage in the Radisson Blu was tied to local factors. The hotel, always popular with diplomats and other foreign personnel, was preparing for the sixth meeting of the Coordinating Committee (Comité de Suivi) of the Algiers Accords, signed in June between rebel groups and the Malian government. The attack also takes place soon after a series of local truces around the town of Anéfis brought a halt — for the moment — to inter-communal conflict between different Tuareg and Arab armed groups that had raged since the signing of the Algiers Accords. The attacks also came just days after Ansar Al-Din leader Ag Ghali released an audio tape railing against the accords, praising the attacks in central and southern Mali, and threatening France.”(5)
While it may be easy to identify these threats, and how they get to become a danger to the region, It is not clear what steps must be taken in order to bring stability and patriotism back to Mali instead of leaving them in despair.
- http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-34882931, Tomi Oladipo
- http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/mali-hotel-terror-attack-more-three-suspects-sought-n467531,Alastair Jamieson, Keir Simmons
- http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/21/world/africa/groups-claiming-responsibility-in-mali-attack-have-history-of-resilience.html?_r=0, Eric Schmitt
- http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/nov/20/bamako-attack-mali-fight-continues-french-intervention, Charlie English
- http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2015/11/20/deadly-hotel-attack-underscores-mali-worsening-security-situation.html ,Andrew Lebovich