NYTimes OP/ED on Mali -
The jihadis are successful today in part because of the perennial weakness of the Malian state, a failed political process in Mali, and deep multifaceted dissatisfaction among Malians with regard to how politics have been practiced and resources allocated. Long-term success will turn on rebuilding the political process in Mali.
... We must recognize three serious obstacles to restoring political legitimacy and rebuilding state institutions in Mali. None of these will be easy for outsiders or Malians to fix quickly.
First, the political process in Mali is broken... With the democratic veneer removed, the coup has revealed a rotten core.
Second, the military forces that staged the coup and have stubbornly meddled in politics ever since need to retreat from the political arena definitively...
Third, a durable solution for northern Mali is required. The north is home to many Malian ethnic groups, including various Tuareg groups who at different periods during the past 50 years have fought against southern rule. An initial collaboration between Tuareg separatists and the jihadis helped the jihadis take control of northern Mali last year. (The groups have since fallen out, and the main Tuareg nationalist group supports French intervention.) Finding the right mix for recognizing the particular needs of northern Mali while integrating the region and not alienating southern Malians is also no easy task.
[link to www.nytimes.com