On 18 August 2020, a military coup overthrew the Malian President Ibrahim Abu Bakr (Boubacar) Keita. The coup leaders seized power after the political turmoil and demonstrations experienced by the country since June 2020. This development has raised many questions about the future of international efforts to combat terrorism in the African Sahel region. The coup represents a major challenge to those efforts, especially as it coincides with a French and European trend to strengthen military efforts to combat terrorism and confront the growing terrorist threats in the region.
Causes of the military coup in Mali
International and regional positions
Potential risks to the war on terror efforts
The future of the war on terror in the region
The most likely scenario seems to be the continuation of the French military operations in the war on terror. However, France will certainly face many challenges such as poor security cooperation with the military junta and the possible decline in European support for its operations. Russia will try to exploit the situation to strengthen its security and military presence in the region. However, this does not necessarily mean that Russia will be able to play an alternative role to France, or that Russia has more tools and cards than France to strengthen its presence. The future of the Russian role will depend to a greater extent on the political developments in Mali and the chances of power transfer to an elected civilian government or the military’s continued stay in power, and the position on security cooperation with Russia and France.
 Milena Caye, Mali’s Recent Coup: Implications for Counterterrorism in the Sahel Region, 23/8/2020, available at: https://www.crossfirekm.org/articles/malis-recent-coup-implications-for-counterterrorism-in-the-sahel-region
 Judd Devermont, The Malian Military Ousts a Wayward Government, August 19, 2020 , available at: https://www.csis.org/analysis/malian-military-ousts-wayward-government
 Jędrzej Czerep, Coup d’état in Mali, PISM, No. 62/2020, 20 August 2020, p.1, 2.
 Raúl Redondo, Russia and the coup d'état in Mali, 24/8/2020, available at: https://atalayar.com/en/content/russia-and-coup-d%C3%A9tat-mali
 Milena Caye, op. cit.
 EU freezes Mali training missions after military coup, 26/8/2020, available at: https://www.dw.com/en/eu-freezes-mali-training-missions-after-military-coup/a-54710608
 Steve Balestrieri, US Suspends Military Support to Mali After Coup D’état,26/8/2020, available at: https://sofrep.com/news/us-suspends-military-support-to-mali-after-coup-detat/
 Judd devermont, op.cit.
 Milena Caye, op.cit.
 Bisa Williams and John Goodman, Mali’s Coup Could Destabilize the Sahel, August 27, 2020, available at: https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/africa/2020-08-27/malis-coup-could-destabilize-sahel
 Judd devermont, op.cit.
 Steve Balestrieri, op.cit.
 L'engagement français au Sahel à l'épreuve du coup d'Etat au Mali, 21/8/2020, available at: https://www.lepoint.fr/societe/l-engagement-francais-au-sahel-a-l-epreuve-du-coup-d-etat-au-mali-21-08-2020-2388455_23.php
 William G. Nomikos, Melanie Sauter, Rob Williams and Patrick Hunnicutt, The military has ousted Mali’s president. That raises questions about the country’s ongoing security challenges, 26/8/2020, available at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/08/26/military-has-overthrown-malis-president-that-raises-questions-about-malis-ongoing-security-challenges/
 Elaine Ganley, French Troops Stay in Mali After Coup, No End in Sight, Aug. 25, 2020, available at: https://apnews.com/89dbef60ab8bfa0d70bd6491b4027c37
 Marine Carballet, Coup d’État militaire au Mali: «Barkhane se retrouve visible au cœur du désordre», 20/8/2020, available at: https://www.lefigaro.fr/vox/monde/coup-d-etat-militaire-au-mali-barkhane-se-retrouve-visible-au-coeur-du-desordre-20200820
 Joseph Siegle et Daniel Eizenga, Attention au coup d’État “populaire”, 1 /9/ 2020, available at: https://africacenter.org/fr/spotlight/attention-au-coup-detat-populaire/
 Elaine Ganley, op.cit.
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