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Poor infrastructure will sustain north Mali separatism

Friday, September 27, 2019


Country-wide road protests.


In late August, Malians in the southern cities of Kayes and Kati began holding protests to decry the substandard state of the country’s roads. Protests soon spread to the north as well, with protesters citing the difficulties in travel caused by endemic insecurity. The government has released funds for some road construction projects and promised new ones, but amid high costs of construction, the roads issue has become -- in the words of one local news outlet -- the “other woe” (alongside the security crisis) of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita’s second term.


  • The southern protests indicate that the south is not as untouched by the country’s crisis as it seems.
  • Even in 'stable' parts of the country, infrastructure shortfalls will keep making day-to-day life frustrating.
  • The government will struggle to operationalise and fund new notional regions from the decentralisation plan.

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