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In March 2012, the government of Mali, one of the most touted symbols of Africa’s democratic potential, fell in a military-executed coup. At the same time, a 4-decades old rebellion among Tuaregs seeking autonomy or independence reached new heights fueled by weapons from Libya and the belief that the Arab Spring could extend to northern Mali. Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and their allies were quick to capitalize on the increasing chaos in a territory characterized by lack of government control and poverty and seized the major cities in the north. While French-led military intervention restored security to cities in the north, the underlying social, economic and political issues of the crisis remain.
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Stewart, Dona J. Dr., "What Is Next for Mali? The Roots of Conflict and Challenges to Stability" (2013). Monographs, Books, and Publications. 514.