It was the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA), flush with weapons scattered across the region following Muammar Gaddafi’s downfall in Libya, that launched a broad military offensive in January 2012.
With Mali inching towards peace, it’s good to start looking at the root causes in the hopes of solving them to bring a lasting peace. In this instance, I see three major causes:
- After the Libyan Civil War, there was a large amount of weapons in the region in the hands of a lot of different groups. How you wind down a war torn region is never an easy challenge, but this demonstrates the importance of it.
- The Tuaregs are a people without a home. They are the minority group in every country they inhabit. When minority groups feel threatened and without power, they often rise up
- The military coup in Mali created an opportunity. Whenever a non-electoral change of government happens, there is an opportunity for others to try to do the same.
If you look at BJ Fogg’s Behavior Model, you’ll see that behaviors change when there is Motivation, Ability, and Trigger. I think you’ll see all three here. The Tuaregs had the motivation to have there own land, the weapons gave them the ability, and the military coup was the trigger.
If you’re unfamiliar with the situation in Mali, I wrote background information about the conflict in Mali last weekend.