Subject: Western Africa
This week I will focus on reports from around the world that have not made much time in our dynamite media……in these days of political games with candidates sniping at each other, spin doctors throwing lies out there for the digestion of the voter, the world keeps turning and situations keep popping up and the media has better things to do like some idiotic working Mom story or a dog tale from days past…….I thought I would just let my readers in on a few things that could change the world if not handled properly…….
There is a war going on in the Western African nation of Mali….Mali? Who cares? An answer that was given lately.
I know….what the Hell is Mali? Good question and here is a short synopsis on the country……..
The Sudanese Republic and Senegal became independent of France in 1960 as the Mali Federation. When Senegal withdrew after only a few months, what formerly made up the Sudanese Republic was renamed Mali. Rule by dictatorship was brought to a close in 1991 by a military coup that ushered in a period of democratic rule. President Alpha KONARE won Mali’s first two democratic presidential elections in 1992 and 1997. In keeping with Mali’s two-term constitutional limit, he stepped down in 2002 and was succeeded by Amadou TOURE, who was elected to a second term in 2007 elections that were widely judged to be free and fair. A military coup overthrew the government in March 2012, claiming that the government had not adequately supported the Malian army’s fight against an advancing Tuareg-led rebellion in the north. Heavy international pressure has forced coup leaders to accelerate the transition back to democratic rule and, to that end, Dioncounda TRAORE was installed as interim president on 12 April.
Now what is a Taureq?
The Tuareg people are a Berber people of the deserts who usually maintain a traditionally nomadic lifestyle. Tuareg Berbers are the principal and indigenous inhabitants of the Saharan interior of North Africa. From the early days of colonialism the Tuareg have been fighters for their freedom….a way of life that continues today.
I have defined Mali and the Tuareg and now you, my reader, want to know where I am going with this…..AQIM! I know huh? It stands for Al Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb.
AQIM stems from a group started in the late 1990s by hardline Algerian Islamists, who, in 2007, formally subscribed to al-Qaeda’s ideology. These fighters, numbering around 300, have spun a tight network across tribal and business lines that stretch across the Sahel, supporting poor communities and protecting traffickers.
They are comfortable operating in the harsh desert terrain and have made millions from ransoms of European hostages.
AQIM chiefs Belmokhtar, Abou Zeid and Yahya Abou Al-Hammam met with Malian Islamist leaders and are said to be staying at the Timbuktu military camp, now under rebel control.
We have all heard about AQ in Pakistan or Yemen…..but AQIM needs to be monitored heavily….if they get their way they will control a sizable tract of land in the North of Mali and could become the new training area as Afghanistan did once Sudan threw them out. AQ could make a huge comeback if left unchecked.