Defence Research Network: Problematic quick fixes for Africa’s (Counter)Insurgencies

Sorina Toltica‘s new blog post for the Defence Research Network discusses the challenges of countering today’s insurgencies in Mali, Sahel and other regions of the African continent. It argues that complex conflicts require more than just strong borders, and careful consideration needs to be given in the future to the way that both military and development solutions contribute to both short- and long-term local dynamics.

Read the blog post on the Defence Research Network’s website.

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This month’s newsletter on counterinsurgency can be accessed here.

The Defence Research Network is an interdisciplinary network of Masters, PhD and Early Career Researchers focused on defence, security and military topics in relation to policy, strategy, history, culture and society. 



Mali: 3 French soldiers killed, escalation of violence & UN evidence of war crimes

  • Three French Soldiers Killed in Mali

Three French soldiers were killed in Mali on Monday, 28/12/2020 when their vehicle hit a bomb during operations under France’s counterterrorism mission.

Read more on The Wall Street Journal

  • Mali: Any End to the Storm?

According to ACLED, 2020 has been the deadliest year on record in Mali. The situation has deteriorated since 2016, when violence spread to central Mali. This led to an escalation in multi-directional violence through armed attacks, scaled-up military operations, and increased targeting of civilians. A military coup in August 2020 broke the status quo and has provided opportunities to change the country’s downward trajectory. However, Mali’s transitional government faces an uphill battle to build consensus and reign in the violence.

Read more on ACLED

  • UN Report: Evidence of War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity

United Nations investigators into violence in Mali provided evidence that security forces committed war crimes, and fighters and other armed groups perpetrated crimes against humanity between 2012-2018.

Read more on Al Jazeera

  • Soumaila Cissé, leader of the opposition in Mali, has died at the age of 71.