The West African state of Mali is in turmoil six months after a military coup. A weak and divided transitional government has failed to quell violence in the north where competing rebel groups are fighting for control. The country has formally requested a UN mandate for an international military force of West African troops to help reconquer the north. But the government in the southern capital of Bamako may be forced to rely on internal solutions.

THE MULTI-PARTY democracy of Mali was an example of democracy and good governance in West Africa in the 1990s.

Now, with violent rebellion in the north of the country, it is viewed as a major threat to re...

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 Teresa Nogueira Pinto
The MNLA, which advocates a secular state, is Sufi-inspired and considered more moderate in theory and practice than other Islamic groups in the region
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