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Posts tagged Mali

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Mali: U.S. Africa Command’s New War?


President Obama’s statement on defense strategy announced a stronger U.S. presence in Asia-Pacific, while keeping Africa under the radar. Yet, recent developments unequivocally suggest that the Black Continent has become the new U.S. playground of imperial military conquest. Mali is the country currently caught in the eye of the storm. In this article, written in February 2012 when the latest so-called “Tuareg rebellion” erupted in northern Mali, Rick Rozoff connects the dots between these events and Mali’s pivotal role in the U.S. strategy for Africa, conjecturing that, after Libya, the stage is possibly being set for another foreign intervention.

The press wires are reporting on intensified fighting in Mali between the nation’s military and ethnic Tuareg rebels of the Azawad National Liberation Movement in the north of the nation.

As the only news agencies with global sweep and the funds and infrastructure to maintain bureaus and correspondents throughout the world are those based in leading member states of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization – the Associated Press, Reuters, Agence France-Presse, BBC News and Deutsche Presse-Agentur – the coverage of ongoing developments in Mali, like those in most every other country, reflects a Western bias and a Western agenda.

Typical headlines on the topic, then, include the following:

Arms and men out of Libya fortify Mali rebellion” -Reuters

President: Tuareg fighters from Libya stoke violence in Mali” - CNN

Colonel Gaddafi armed Tuaregs pound Mali” - The Scotsman

France denounces killings in Mali rebel offensive” -Agence France-Presse

Mali, France Condemn Alleged Tuareg Rebel Atrocities” - Voice of America

To reach Mali from Libya is at least a 500-mile journey through Algeria and/or Niger. As the rebels of course don’t have an air force, don’t have military transport aircraft, the above headlines and the propaganda they synopsize imply that Tuareg fighters marched the entire distance from Libya to their homeland in convoys containing heavy weapons through at least one other nation without being detected or deterred by local authorities. And that, moreover, to launch an offensive three months following the murder of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi after his convoy was struck by French bombs and a U.S. Hellfire missile last October. But the implication that Algeria and Niger, especially the first, are complicit in the transit of Tuareg fighters and arms from Libya to Mali is ominous in terms of expanding Western accusations – and actions – in the region.

Armed rebellions are handled differently in Western-dominated world news reporting depending on how the rebels and the governments they oppose are viewed by leading NATO members.

In recent years the latter have provided military and logistical support to armed rebel formations – in most instances engaged in cross-order attacks and with separatist and irredentist agendas – in Kosovo, Macedonia, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Libya and now Syria, and on the intelligence and “diplomatic” fronts in Russia, China, Pakistan, Sudan, Iran, Indonesia, Congo, Myanmar, Laos and Bolivia.

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Filed under News Commentary Africa Africom Mali Kosovo Macedonia Liberia Ivory Coast Libya Syria Russia China Pakistan Sudan Iran Indonesia Congo Myanmar Laos Bolivia NATO Turkey Morocco Colombia Philippines central africa republic Chad Uganda Congo

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Mali in Crisis: Timbuktu Taken by Tuareg Forces

Side Note: The Pan-African News Wire is a great source to keep up to date on what is going on in the continent of Africa, ESPECIALLY in relation to what foreign nations like the USA and China are doing there. Other [recent] articles from the site that I’d recommend are:

It is time to tell the USA to back off. MANY of Africa’s political problems are direct results of the USA’s covert (and overt) military actions on that continent. Whether it’s with the CIA or AFRICOM; and just because many Americans are ignorant of this DOES NOT alleviate them of being responsible for it. 

By Abayomi Azikiwe

The ancient city of Timbuktu is embroiled in a conflict that is a spillover of last year’s NATO assault on Libya. “With the political & economic situation in Libya becoming extremely hostile towards Black Libyans & Africans from other parts of the continent, thousands of Tuaregs relocated back inside of Mali.” Tuareg forces stated “they want a separate homeland for the people of the north of the country.” while, Mali’s military, which overthrew the country’s elected president, faces sanctions from its West African neighbors.

The MNLA is led by the Tuareg people who have been marginalized since the post-independence period of the last five decades.”

Timbuktu, the ancient city in northern Mali, has been taken by the Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA). The ongoing war for the control of the northern regions of this West African state has created a strong reaction from throughout the region.

A military coup took place in the capital of Bamako on March 21 deposing President Amadou Toumani Toure. The coup has drawn condemnation from the regional Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the United States, the European Union and other international bodies.

Under pressure from outside and inside the country, the military junta headed by Capt. Amadou Sanogo announced on April 1 that they would re-instate the national constitution and hold elections aimed at a transition back to civilian rule. This came in the aftermath of a failed trip to Bamako by a group of ECOWAS leaders headed by Blaise Compaore of Burkina Faso.

The ECOWAS airline carrying a delegation of West African leaders was returned in mid-air amid reports of demonstrations in the capital in favor of the military regime. Later on April 2, the ECOWAS regional organization met in Dakar, Senegal for several hours to discuss the situation in Mali.

According to the Associated Press, “The head of the body representing West African nations says the bloc is imposing financial sanctions on Mali because the junior officers that seized power in a coup 12 days ago have failed to restore constitutional order.” (April 2) After the meeting, the regional ECOWAS leader Alassane Ouattara emerged stating “that sanctions, including the closing of Mali’s land borders and the cutting off of the nation’s access to the regional central bank, would go into effect immediately.”

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Filed under News Imperialism US Government Resources Mali Africa Africom NATO Timbuktu Libya United Nations

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Amnesty warns Mali is ‘on brink of major disaster’


Mali is on the brink of a major humanitarian disaster following a coup and rebellion in the north, Amnesty International says.

The human rights group says aid agencies must be allowed immediate access to the country, to prevent more civilians dying.

Some fighters in the north have said they have stopped military operations.

But Amnesty says all food supplies and medicines stored by aid agencies have been looted and most workers have fled.

"The population is at imminent risk of severe food and medical shortages that could lead to many casualties, especially among women and children who are less able to fend for themselves," Amnesty’s West Africa researcher Gaetan Mootoo said in a statement.

The group said the three northern towns of Gao, Kidal and Timbuktu have experienced days of looting, abductions and chaos.

The Tuareg separatist rebels of the Azawad National Liberation Movement (MNLA) said in a statement on their website that they had captured enough territory to form their own state.

But the position of Islamist insurgents, who fought alongside the Tuareg in northern Mali, is unclear.

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Filed under News Mali Human Rights Food Algeria Amnesty International UN New York

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