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Norms, non-combatants'agency and restraint in Jihadi violence in Northern Mali

Bouhlel, Ferdaous, Guichaoua, Yvan (2021) Norms, non-combatants'agency and restraint in Jihadi violence in Northern Mali. International Interactions, . Article Number 1898954. ISSN 0305-0629. E-ISSN 1547-7444. (doi:10.1080/03050629.2021.1898954) (KAR id:84573)

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In 2012, several Jihadi armed groups stormed the northern part of Mali and became the unchallenged rulers of two-thirds of the country. Each group governed based on Islamic Law, codifying violence against their enemies in combat and the populations they controlled. Despite drawing on similar jihadist ideology, these governing systems differed significantly in their uses of violence and jurisprudence. What explains the emergence and legitimization of such contrasting norms? We compare patterns of violence and restraint in the regions of Kidal and Gao based on interviews with diverse protagonists of the occupation, including former members of Ansar Dine and the Movement for the Unity of Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO). In Kidal, the Ansar Dine commander’s decision to follow local Islamic jurisprudence limited violence. In contrast, MUJAO rule over Gao used forms of punishment encompassing physical violence to assert political hegemony despite opposition from influential local imams and youth movements. Figures among the noncombatant population also influenced the formation and interpretation of norms among these groups, though less so under strong military imperatives. The findings highlight the importance of searching for a common language over norms of government between insurgents and populations as a key source of restraint.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1080/03050629.2021.1898954
Uncontrolled keywords: Civil war, Mali, violence, restraint, Islam
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DT Africa
J Political Science
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Politics and International Relations
Depositing User: Yvan Guichaoua
Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2021 15:11 UTC
Last Modified: 08 Jan 2024 10:50 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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