Blue Peace Bulletin: "Water and Violence: Mali"

28 Apr 2019 by OOSKAnews Correspondent

Jayantika Kutty, Research Analyst with think-tank Strategic Foresight Group (SFG) speaks with David Duncan, Publisher, OOSKAnews in this (LINK) OOSKAnewscast audio interview.

This OOSKAnewscast was recorded on the occasion of the release of SFG’s fourth "Blue Peace Bulletin", “Water and Violence: Mali” (THE FULL APRIL 2019 BULLETIN CAN BE DOWNLOADED HERE).

Kutty is part of the research team behind Blue Peace Bulletins, monthly publications which highlight issues related to water and violence in different geographic regions. She holds an MA in International Law and the Settlement of Disputes from the United Nations mandated University for Peace in Costa Rica. SFG is a Mumbai, India-based international think-tank engaged in crafting new policy concepts that enable decision makers to prepare for a future in uncertain times. It is estimated that of the approximately 18.5 million people in Mali, around 4.1 million Malians are food insecure and about 4.5 million people don't have access to clean water. Mali’s water infrastructure is yet to be used as a tool of violence during the on-going conflict. However, the conflict has had an impact on access to water leading to constant clashes between ethnic groups in the country.
In the past few years, Fulani herders and Bambara and Dogon farmers (who are linked with the Donzo hunters group) have clashed over access to land and water. In January 2019, around 37 Fulani herders were killed in central Mali by armed men dressed as traditional Donzo hunters. Another deadly attack was carried out on the Fulani villagers by the Donzo hunters in March 2019 in the Mopti region in central Mali, which led to the death of nearly 160 people.
“A Matter of Survival”, the 2017 Report of the Global High-Level Panel on Water and Peace called for protection of water resources and infrastructure from violent conflicts and terrorist acts. In the April 2019 Blue Peace Bulletin, SFG examines the issue of protecting water in Mali.
Government Resignation
In mid-April Mali's Prime Minister Soumeylou Boubèye Maïga and his entire government resigned amid the background of the spike in unrest and violence. Former Finance Minister Boubou Cisse, 41, was appointed as the country’s new Prime Minister April 22 and has been tasked with forming a "broad government" to stem the bloodshed in the country, according to a Presidential statement.
Jayantika Kutty discusses the intersects between water conflict, land conflict and ethnic tensions in Mali with reference to recent atrocities and the government resignation; the role, and potential role of the current United Nations Peacekeeping Mission in the country; the potential role of regional river and river basin authorities; the G5 Cross Border Joint Force (G5 Force), comprising Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger which was formed in 2017 to fight security threats in the region.
Further Reading: Other SFG “Blue Peace Bulletins”
Yemen, released January 2019:
In “Water and Violence: Yemen” Strategic Foresight Group examines the issue of protecting water in Yemen.
Ukraine, released February 2019:
Strategic Foresight Group’s “Water and Violence: Ukraine” examines the prospects of securing critical water infrastructure in Donbass? What can be done by the relevant actors and the international community?
“The Middle East Blue Strike List”, released March 2019:
This “Middle East Blue Strike List” bulletin provides details of 51 attacks that have taken place between 2012 and 2018 in Iraq, Syria and Turkey. The attacks are categorized by Strategic Foresight Group into three types, either “Direct Target”, “Weapon” or “Indirect Target”, based on the kind of attack.