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Mali’s March 2012 coup d’état, and the subsequent seizure of large areas of the country’s North by a mix of Tuareg separatist and Islamist groups, turned what had appeared to be a model of West African democracy into a state in crisis almost overnight. Although armed conflict has largely ended in Mali, the problems at the root of the crisis, such as weak institutions and entrenched corruption and inequality, remain.
The ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) has operated in the country since September 2010, when it began its program to address descent-based slavery in northern Mali. Since June 2013, ABA ROLI has also been working to assist the Malian government and civil society organizations to develop transitional justice strategies to address serious human rights violations committed during the country’s recent conflict.