North and Centre Mali plunging back into violence.

Between February and March, the region of Menaka (North Mali) was the scene of several communal clashes. In the Mopti region (centre Mali), inter-community conflicts[1] are reported during several days in the Malian newspapers. These clashes caused “the death of 67 people and the displacement of about 13,000 people.” (Source OCHA, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs).
The weakening of the authority of the state, nay its complete absence in these regions, is widely criticised by the local population. Citizens of the area, predicting the risk of clashes, had unsuccessfully requested the State to take the necessary measures in order to provide security to the population.
The presence or influence of armed groups in the area, the uncontrolled circulation of arms and the creation of armed militias and vigilante groups in various community groups have greatly benefited from this gap and contributed to the rise of inter-community mistrust.
The risk for inter-community conflicts, especially between pastoralists and farmers remains high.
Moreover, one cannot rule out that jihadist militias operating in the area will try to take advantage of this, offering their support to some in exchange for their rallying.
[1] Ethnic groups with economic interests sometimes conflicting: Fulani pastoralists, Bambara growers and Bozo fishermen, all are fighting in a war that dare not speak its name.
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