Thursday, 5 January 2012

New Saharan provinces in Mali

On 16th December, the Malian government announced that it was going ahead with the plan to create two new provinces in the northern desert regions of Taoudéni and Ménaka. Taoudéni is currently part of the Timbuktu region and Ménaka part of Gao.

This move is in accordance with the intention to increase the number of provinces from eight to 19 over five years. While justified as part of the state's decentralisation programme, the creation of these two new provinces in particular is also an attempt to improve the security of the country's northern region. The move will inject more administration into these largely ignored regions, as well as new military commands.

While the proposal appears to be welcomed by some sectors of the population, notably the Arab community of Timbuktu, it is receiving mixed initial views from the Tuareg population. While some see it as a genuine move towards decentralisation, others are wary that it will establish greater restrictions, especially militarily, over the predominantly Tuareg regions. The schedule for these new regions coming into practice is not yet established.

For more news and expert analysis about the Sahara region, please see Sahara Focus.

© 2012 Menas Associates

No comments:

Post a Comment