Initially, the 2012 crisis affecting Mali was understood to be primarily focused on the northern regions of the country, as were the previous rebellions that had been errupting at regular intervals since independence. However, the dramatic increase since 2015 in violence targeting security forces, elected or traditional officials, market places and schools in Mopti, the central region of Mali, has shifted attention.
This change in the geographic centre of the violence has led national and international security actors to re-assess their analysis on the root causes of the conflict affecting Mali.
Based on key interviews, a literature review and original documentation, this paper confronts the diverging narratives on the origins and drivers of the conflict in central Mali, as well as the interactions between them.
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