Mali: An emerging flashpoint

The situation in Mali has now escalated to an international conflict with European troops (particularly French) becoming involved, the Algiers incident and African Union troops being sent in as well. The New Zealand Herald today included a thorough article with a great map demonstrating where this is occurring.

Normally, when approaching current events such as this, I work with the following set of thinking prompts:

  • Why has this occurred in this specific location?
  • What are the root causes of the incident?
  • Which factors (human and/or physical) had the greatest influence on the event?
  • What perspectives are covered in this information?
  • Are there perspectives missing that should be covered?
  • What are the implications or consequences?
  • What evidence is used to support the author’s argument?
  • Who is responsible?
  • Who is this issue significant for?
  • What can be done about this?

With this situation though, I feel the main forces may be too complex so require a further set of information sources for students to more completely understand what is occurring. The following articles are ones that I plan to use with my classes in the coming weeks:

National Geographic provide a great backgrounder to the situation.

More depth can be added to the background with this article from International Political Forum

BBC have this article about the key players in the crisis

Hope these help you and your students (and me!) understand the developing situation in Mali.

 

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