26 November 2012

Africa Society And Howard University Convene Forum On Mali

press release

Washington, DC — Assessing How Best to Restore Security and Stability in this West African Nation

The Africa Society of the National Summit on Africa and Howard University's Ralph J. Bunche International Affairs Center, in collaboration with Mali Watch, will sponsor a forum, "Restoring Security and Stability in Mali: How Should the International Community Respond?" on Wednesday, November 28, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.  The program will take place at the Bunche Center, located at 2218 6th Street, NW, Washington, DC.

The panelists for this program are as follows:
•    The Honorable Donald Teitelbaum, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs
•    His Excellency Al Maamoun, Ambassador to the United States from Mali
•    Dr. Vivian Lowery Derryck, President and CEO of The Bridges Institute/Mali Watch Chair
    (Additional presenters to be announced)

Mali, a West African nation that was once touted as a model democracy, has suffered a number of crises since March of 2012 when a military coup led by Captain Amadou Sanogo ousted President Amadou Toumani Touré.  Though Sanogo acceded to an interim President, Cheick Madiba Diarra, in April, on ongoing threat of Islamic rebels in the northern part of the country is moving south and threatens to not only destabilize Mali, but the entire region if not thwarted.

Beginning in October of 2012, calls for military intervention to fight the radical factions in the north of Mali have led to consensus in many quarters, including the United Nations, African Union and ECOWAS, with support from neighboring countries.  How best to coordinate military intervention and determining what operations would be most effective are issues that still have to be resolved.

The serious security, economic and humanitarian issues that have emerged in Mali necessitate a coordinated, swift and effective response from the international community.  This forum will address the role of the United States in working to restore democracy to Mali, in addition to the plans underway by international actors to take on the radical jihadist factions in the north of Mali.

The partnership between Howard University's Ralph J. Bunche International Affairs Center and The Africa Society for the Issue Forum Series began in 2000.  Its purpose is to bring together policymakers, the media, academics, opinion leaders, stakeholders, African leaders, and the public to discuss key topics pertaining to the African continent.

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