The military intervention in northern Mali by French and West African troops has changed the trajectory of what had been a steadily deteriorating security situation. Even so, considerable confusion persists regarding the nature and motivations of the militant groups, the degree of local support they enjoy, and underlying grievances that have fostered instability in northern Mali. These factors have fundamental implications for the course of military operations moving forward and the broader stabilization strategy for this region.

Recognizing the fluidity of events on the ground, the Africa Center for Strategic Studies is convening a pair of expert panels to help clarify the actors and drivers of instability in Mali and the requirements for stabilizing this territory beyond the near-term military intervention. Drawing on lessons from Africa and elsewhere, the panels will highlight priorities for Malian, African, and international actors as they engage this crisis within its broader strategic significance. (To see a PDF invitation, click here.)

Priorities for Stabilizing Northern Mali

Wednesday, February 6, 2013
8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

National Defense University

Marshall Hall (Bldg 62), Room 155
Fort McNair, 4th & P St. SW, Washington, D.C. 20319

Panel  1 – “Clarifying the Forces of
Instability in Northern Mali”
8:30 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.

Djallil Lounnas

Professor, Insurgency and Transnational Radicalism in North Africa and the Sahel-Sahara
Al Akhawayn University, Ifrane, Morrocco

Rida Lyammouri

Northern Mali Analyst
Navanti Group

Mathurin Houngnikpo
Chair, Civil-Military Relations
Africa Center for Strategic Studies

Panel  2 “Priorities for Stabilizing
Northern Mali”

10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Patrick de Vathaire

Colonel, French Army and
Senior French Representative
Africa Center for Strategic Studies

Johanna Mendelson Forman
Author, Third Generation Stabilization Operations
Center for Strategic and International Studies

Sharon Bean

Development Advisor to USAID
Trans-Sahel Counter Terrorism


Moderated by Joseph Siegle
Director of Research, Africa Center for Strategic Studies

The event will be on the record with news media present.

Space is limited. Please RSVP with your name and affiliation to

Michelle Cavalcanti at

Media must RSVP to by February 5, 2013.

Twitter users can follow the Roundtable at #ACSSMali

Please bring a picture ID to enter Fort McNair

The Africa Center for Strategic Studies
3rd Avenue SW (Fort McNair Buildings 20-21)
Washington, D.C. 20319-5066

Tags: africa, extremism, instability, intervention, mali, peacekeeping, stabilization, terrorism

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