Violent Jihad and Counter-Terrorism: Tribal Relations in Northern Mali | Yvan Guichaoua

Against a thematic backdrop provided by the recent publication of ‘Tribes and Global Jihadism’ (Hurst, 2017), edited by Virginie Collombier and Olivier Roy, MEDirections welcomed Dr. Yvan Guichaoua (Brussels School of International Studies, University of Kent) to give a lecture on Violent Jihad and Counter-Terrorism: How are Tribal Relations Reshaped in Northern Mali? Northern Mali’s tribal mosaic was, until the crisis erupted in 2012, governed through minimal state presence backed by a contested web of co-opted local notabilities. First separatist forces and then jihadi movements challenged this political order in a dramatic fashion. The occupation of Northern Mali by a jihadi coalition in 2012 reconfigured tribal economic and political positions. The French intervention in 2013, followed by a peace agreement promising peace dividends to signatories, then forced another re-alignment of positions. How can these perpetually changing alliances be understood? Are they guided by a parochial logic and destroying tribal unity? This lecture aimed to answer such questions to unpack how violent jihad and counter-terrorism reshape tribal relations. The lecture was part of the workshop on Tribes and Global Jihadism that took place in Florence, 27 February 2018.