Developments ahead of the presidential elections.
Prime Minister Soumeylou Boubeye Maiga on March 26 completed a tour of the insecure northern and central regions. President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita has been accused of sluggishness in pushing the peace process in the north forward, but Maiga -- appointed in December -- has injected fresh momentum into the government’s approach. Keita is likely to stand for a second term in presidential elections scheduled in July.
- Restoring security in central Mali will be difficult, after years of violence that has fuelled inter-communal mistrust and resentments.
- The ADEMA party has yet to choose a presidential candidate -- if any -- and it is unclear whether it will support Keita in the elections.
- The G5 Sahel force should lead to a more focused military effort in the frontier region between Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso.