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Thread: The Republic of Azawad - a new country in Africa / War in Mali

  1. #31
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    Default Re: The Republic of Azawad - a new country in Africa / War in Mali

    Mali being discussed on the PK show at the moment - some opposition to the war in France as a duplication of the Iraq war crime.

    The whole desert region is being spoken of as a "new Afghanistan."

    The underlying strategy is all to clear.

    What I am not 100% clear about is the relations between the US Africom strategy and the actions of the EU states.
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
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  2. #32
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    Default Re: The Republic of Azawad - a new country in Africa / War in Mali

    Just to put this in its geopolitical context


    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

  3. #33
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    Default Re: The Republic of Azawad - a new country in Africa / War in Mali

    Detailed analysis of the postings on a jihadist forum on Mali

    http://themoornextdoor.wordpress.com...ihadi-forum-i/

    Haven't read it yet so not expressing any views on it.


    The Libyan incursion by NATO was a very obvious move to create a physical barrier between the revolutions and political movements ongoing in Tunisia, and the rest of western North Africa and the similar movement in Egypt and the Middle East.

    Libya has also been the conduit for a flow of arms into Mali.
    Last edited by C. Flower; 15-01-2013 at 11:13 AM.
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

  4. #34
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    Default Re: The Republic of Azawad - a new country in Africa / War in Mali

    Interesting, though I know nothing of the geo-politics of north Africa. Environmentally it is at the mercy of climate change and if the next potential war in Afghanistan is to do with water, then it will be more of the same here.

  5. #35
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    Default Re: The Republic of Azawad - a new country in Africa / War in Mali

    Sorry but now I really am confused. Is Azawad the same entity as the Islamists from whom the French etc. are defending the Malian government?

    Could someone please recap?

  6. #36
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    Default Re: The Republic of Azawad - a new country in Africa / War in Mali

    I think so Richard, though it seems independence was achieved through a partnership of secular forces and the islamists...but these two sides came into conflict soon after and now the islamists are in sole charge, or this is what I gather.

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    Default Re: The Republic of Azawad - a new country in Africa / War in Mali

    Quote Originally Posted by Richardbouvet View Post
    Sorry but now I really am confused. Is Azawad the same entity as the Islamists from whom the French etc. are defending the Malian government?

    Could someone please recap?
    This thread has some background.

    http://www.politicalworld.org/showthread.php?t=11443
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
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  8. #38
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    Default Re: The Republic of Azawad - a new country in Africa / War in Mali

    Thanks for that Fraxinus.

    PW, the backgound reading does not help a pre-senile dodderer like me.

    Is this now (n.b. now) a 2-sided conflict between the Mali Govt/France on one hand and a (mainly) Islamist entity on the other? If not, then what is it?
    Last edited by Richardbouvet; 15-01-2013 at 12:10 PM.

  9. #39
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    Default Re: The Republic of Azawad - a new country in Africa / War in Mali

    Quote Originally Posted by Richardbouvet View Post
    Thanks for that Fraxinus.

    PW, the backgound reading does not help a pre-senile dodderer like me.

    Is this now (n.b. now) a 2-sided conflict between the Mali Govt/France on one hand and a (mainly) Islamist entity on the other? If not, then what is it?
    I need to read this all though myself, Richard.

    I haven't got a full grip on it yet.

    I do know that I think that the western states should keep out.
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

  10. #40
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    Default Re: The Republic of Azawad - a new country in Africa / War in Mali

    PW I have done some Googling and I am still only about half-way there.

    How have you already come to the conclusion that the West should keep out, unless you believe the West should always keep out of Africa, with no exceptions.

    You may be right, but on the other hand if these peole really are vicious Islamists (perhaps the same ones who destroyed mosques in the area rercently, or allies of the potentially genocidal Boko Haram in Nigeria) there may be a case for helping those opposed to them.

  11. #41
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    Default Re: The Republic of Azawad - a new country in Africa / War in Mali

    Quote Originally Posted by Richardbouvet View Post
    PW I have done some Googling and I am still only about half-way there.

    How have you already come to the conclusion that the West should keep out, unless you believe the West should always keep out of Africa, with no exceptions.

    You may be right, but on the other hand if these peole really are vicious Islamists (perhaps the same ones who destroyed mosques in the area rercently, or allies of the potentially genocidal Boko Haram in Nigeria) there may be a case for helping those opposed to them.
    Yes, my view is that we should keep out on all occasions. Just as foreign armies should keep out of Ireland.

    Boko Haram, al Q, al Shabab and all these other supposed jihadi groups look to me to be run by the US.

    They are never locals, locals always hate them.
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

  12. #42
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    Default Re: The Republic of Azawad - a new country in Africa / War in Mali

    Quote Originally Posted by Richardbouvet View Post
    Thanks for that Fraxinus.

    PW, the backgound reading does not help a pre-senile dodderer like me.

    Is this now (n.b. now) a 2-sided conflict between the Mali Govt/France on one hand and a (mainly) Islamist entity on the other? If not, then what is it?
    It is a multi-sided conflict that encompasses Tuareg nationalist, ethnic and religious components. I cannot see how foreign intervention is going to resolve anything.



    To try and briefly sum it up. The Tuaregs in the north east of Mali have for many decades felt badly treated and marginalised and launched several rebellions which were suppressed.

    Following the overthrow of Gaddafi in Libya many Tuareg who had fought for him found themselves without work and returned to Mali with large amounts of weaponery. This was used to launch a fresh rebellion which was successful in driving the Malian army out of north east Mali and the Republic of Azawad was proclaimed. (Green area of map above) Following this there was a military coup in Mali by disgruntled soldiers. The coup leaders still hold power.

    The rebellion was led by the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) which is an avowedly secular organisation. However, in the latter stage of the fighting the MNLA was supported by various Islamists groupings. I have outlined who these are in an earlier thread. The principal one is Ansar Dine which is Tuareg led but also contains foreign fighters. Then there is Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb which is principally Algerian but operates across several countries and also a splinter from it called the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MOJWA) which is comprised essentially of black Islamists. The leader is a Mauritanian.

    The Islamists fought with the MNLA against the Malian army but did not support the proclaimed republic of Azawad. Their aim is to take power in all of Mali. The "liberated" territory is simply seen as a base or steppingstone to this.

    Over the course of last summer there was a falling out between the MNLA and the various Islamists groupings which led to fighting in which the better armed Islamists won. The MNLA was driven out of all the main towns in Azawad.

    Over recent weeks there have been peace talks between the various factions and the Malian government but the Islamists pulled out of these recently and launched an offensive beyone the border of Azawad. The MNLA has not participated in this and has indicated that it remains open to negotiations with the Malian government.

    The situation within Azawad is complicated by the fact that the entire region is not Tuareg but contains other ethnic groups such arabs/moors, and various black groups such as the Fulani, and Songhay who do not support the breakaway from Mali. There is some evidence that the Islamists have exploited this to gain support against the MNLA. There is however also local non Tuareg sentiment against the Islamists and it is known that local militias were formed to fight them. The arabs/moors unsuccessfully tried to defend Timbuktu from the Islamists for example.

    The situation is also complicated by the fact that not all the Tuareg support Azawad and certainly not the Islamists. They were Tuareg in the Malian army and many Tuareg fled the area to west Mali when Azawad was proclaimed. Unfortunately, the rebellion fanned the flames of racist tensions and many Tuareg in the army felt under threat and were obliged to desert while the refugees have also come under pressure. Black Militias which have carried out atrocities against the Tuareg in the past have been reactivated.

    It is into this complicated situation that foreign powers have intervened. They assert that they are there to combat the Islamists but what attitude will they take to the Republic of Azawad? Will they also suppress the MNLA? It is not clear that there can be a military solution to the "problem" of the Tuareg and oppression, particularly by western powers, will only serve to recruit more to the militant banners of the Jihadists. Also what effect will foreign intervention have on the mounting racial tension in Mali? Will the black militias be disarmed or supported? If historical experience is anything to go by the western intervention will only fan the flames of division.
    Last edited by Sam Lord; 15-01-2013 at 02:38 PM.
    Do not rejoice in his defeat, you men. For though the world has stood up and stopped the bastard, the (female dog) that bore him is in heat again. Bertolt Brecht

  13. #43
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    Default Re: The Republic of Azawad - a new country in Africa / War in Mali

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Flower View Post
    Detailed analysis of the postings on a jihadist forum on Mali

    http://themoornextdoor.wordpress.com...ihadi-forum-i/

    Haven't read it yet so not expressing any views on it.
    There seems to have been a great deal of speculation on the jihadist forum about the provenance of the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MOJWA) with suggestions that it was a creation of regional intelligence services. Others in response point to it close association with AQIM who they all seem to have confidence in.

    I was under the impression that MOJWA was essentially comprised of black africans but from this article it appears to be "led mainly by Malian Arabs from the Gao region".


    Libya has also been the conduit for a flow of arms into Mali.
    I'm not sure that conduit is the right word. The arms came out of Libya following the defeat of Gaddafi and were brought to Mali by Tuareg who had been fighting for him.
    Do not rejoice in his defeat, you men. For though the world has stood up and stopped the bastard, the (female dog) that bore him is in heat again. Bertolt Brecht

  14. #44
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    Default Re: The Republic of Azawad - a new country in Africa / War in Mali

    This is from Al Jazeera and is the best guide to the various groups in Mali that I have come across:

    http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/fea...522812326.html

    One group that I had not come across before is the FLNA (National Front for the Liberation of Azawad) which is an arab group supporting the independence of Azawad but wants the question decided by the people in referendum. They are not Islamists and do not support sharia etc.
    Do not rejoice in his defeat, you men. For though the world has stood up and stopped the bastard, the (female dog) that bore him is in heat again. Bertolt Brecht

  15. #45
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    Default Re: The Republic of Azawad - a new country in Africa / War in Mali

    I really need to read up more on the history of this but from what I can, the original revolts for Tuareg independence in the north after Mali broke from France were mainly Tuareg led but also supported by Arabs and Berbers. It seems a number of these rebellions were put down harshly by the Malian army and this has left a bitter situation....as Sam Lord says, militias were used as well.

    If the MNLA have recieved arms from Libya but the Islamists outgunned them to gain control...where did the islamists get the arms?

    The Tuareg's have actually launched rebellions from an earlier date than I first read

    Tuareg rebellion (1916-1917)
    Tuareg rebellion (1962–1964)
    Tuareg rebellion (1990–1995)
    Tuareg rebellion (2007–2009)
    Tuareg rebellion (2012)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuareg_rebellion

    Sounds like a right mess the western powers are getting into and France should definitely stay the hell out of it..they've done enough damage.

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