In The Media

Everything you need to know about the violence in Mali and what Canada will be doing to keep the peace

by Marie-Danielle Smith (Feat. Steve Saideman)

The National Post
May 30, 2018

When Canadian helicopters and crew land in Mali later this summer, they will join a mission the United Nations has described as “highly volatile.” And there is disagreement among experts over what role Canada can — or should — play. The National Post’s Marie-Danielle Smith explores what our troops are getting themselves into.

What’s behind the violence in Mali?

Since this former French colony’s first democratic elections in the 1990s, insurgents in the north have staged several separatist rebellions. They were driven largely by the Tuareg people, an ethnic minority who said they felt excluded by the central government.

Following the post-Arab Spring downfall of Muammar Gaddafi, their cause was bolstered by soldiers fleeing Libya, and in 2012 rebels declared the north an independent Islamic state, imposing strict sharia law. At the same time, a military coup deposed the sitting government in the southern capital of Bamako.

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