CAIRN-INT.INFO : International Edition

How is a legitimist militia constructed in contemporary Mali, particularly in the context of the fight against jihadist groups? The investigation presented in this article sheds light on the way the Dogon hunter-militiamen have become defenders of their community, but also intermittent partners of the state in the “war on terror”. While the state–often described as failed–appears as a central actor in the production of violence, political actors who specialise in intermediation emerge and take the role of brokers in a context of internationalising conflict. These militia elites put forward their “autochthony” and their involvement in the “war on terror” in order to negotiate their position and secure rising social trajectories. These processes highlight the use of a local lexicon in national and transnational configurations, which reinforces identity assignments and the prolongment of conflict.

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