Mali was for a long time considered a leading African state. In 2011-2012 Reporters Without Borders ranked the country in the top tier of press freedom in Africa, outshone only by Namibia. In an otherwise troubled region, the country’s democratically elected government has successfully maintained stability within its borders.
However, during the course of 2012 these achievements where dashed by a sudden coup d’état that toppled the democratically elected president. Within a couple of months the country dissolved into an Islamist state run by warlords with a particularly strict interpretation of Sharia law. The country’s northern territory has become a safe haven for al-Qaeda affiliated groups. The country now poses a security risk to Western Africa and beyond.
Bengt Nilsson is a journalist, author and film producer. He has travelled and written about Western Africa for decades. In 2008 Timbro published his book Sveriges Afrikanska krig.