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Type Journal Article - International Journal of Arts and Humanities
Title Enduring crisis in Mali: Exploring the ethnic tuareg's quest for statehood in Mali since independence
Volume 1
Issue 3
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2017
Page numbers 1-27
The lives of the Tuaregs of the Sahel were disrupted with the arrival of the European colonial powers that balkanized the African continent with no consideration of Africa’s cultural realities. With the demarcation of imaginary colonial boundaries, the Tuaregs lived in different countries including northern Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Senegal, and southern Algeria. This article focuses on the Malian Tuaregs and seeks to explore the root causes of the failure of the Tuaregs’ nationalist struggle for self-determination in post-colonial Mali. The article draws on Burton’s
human needs theory, which emphasizes the need for recognition of identity and the satisfaction of self-actualization, safety, cognitive and psychological needs as the prerequisites for human development. It argues that Mali will remain politically unstable so long as the country’s economic and socio-political structures continue to prevent the Tuaregs from achieving their nationalist dream. In addition to their status as “second class citizens” today, the new dynamics of the international war on terror have socially constructed the Tuareg ethnic group as a “terrorist
group.” The paper concludes that sustainable peace in Mali will be more difficult to achieve without full integration of the Tuaregs in Malian society and successful national reconciliation processes.

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