Mali is facing its worst crisis since independence in 1960. The entire north of the country has been taken over by armed groups. Tens of thousands of people have fled the region, creating a humanitarian crisis in southern Mali and in neighbouring countries. Moreover, a military coup in March 2012 has set back almost twenty years of peaceful political changes and has isolated the country internationally. The entire sub-region risks being destabilized by the triple effect of political instability, armed conflict in the north and the food crisis which affects all of the Sahel.