In January 2013, French troops intervened militarily in Mali to stop the advance of armed Islamists, following their capture of key towns in the North of the country. Yet despite the military successes of the French troops breaking the Islamists’ control of this part of the country, the security situation remains volatile. In April, the UN Security Council agreed to send troops to take over from the French and African forces. This peacekeeping force, to which Norway has committed to contribute, is scheduled for July 2013. Presidential elections are planned for 28 July, which will be crucial to restore legitimacy around the central government and pave the way for peacetalks with the Tuareg movements. The humanitarian situation in the region is however still highly precarious. Food insecurity is chronic, and with the number of internally displaced in Mali and Malian refugees in neighboring countries following the recent conflict, the situation has become even more fragile.
What are the main humanitarian challenges today, six months after the French intervention? What will be the main challenges ahead for the new UN Peacekeeping force taking over?
Gunhilde Utsogn, Special Assistant to the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Mali
John Karlsrud, Research Fellow, NUPI
Chair: Maria Gabrielsen Jumbert, Senior Researcher, PRIO
The event is co-organized by the Humanitarianism Research Group at PRIO and the Norwegian Centre for Humanitarian Studies (NCHS).
A light lunch will be served.