For the West African country of Mali, 2012 has been a particularly inauspicious year. Most recently, Cheikh Modibo Diarra, Mali’s prime minister, was removed from power by the country’s military. Meanwhile, Tuareg rebels and Al Qaeda-linked jihadists are strengthening their grip over the northern parts of the country. In response, a UN-backed intervention of 3,300 soldiers has been planned by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), but is unlikely to arrive until September 2013. For now, Mali is in a precarious situation.
by Jesper Åkesson