Category - Algeria

Exclusive – US Bankrolled anti-Morsi Activities

Thanks to Brian Downing for spotting this.  In Brian’s 7/8 article, The Egyptian military and politics – and Saudi ambitions, he outlined the Saudi goal of a sympathetic Egyptian military in charge to stem democracy movements and help protect Saudi interests. This article  indicates US involvement in the Saudi plan.

Aljazeera Exclusive: US bankrolled anti-Morsi activists – Features – Al Jazeera English

Berkeley, United States – President Barack Obama recently stated the United States was not taking sides as Egypt’s crisis came to a head with the military overthrow of the democratically elected president. But a review of dozens of US federal government documents shows Washington has quietly funded senior Egyptian opposition figures who called for toppling of the country’s now-deposed president Mohamed Morsi.

Documents obtained by the Investigative Reporting Program at UC Berkeley show the US channeled funding through a State Department programme to promote democracy in the Middle East region. This programme vigorously supported activists and politicians who have fomented unrest in Egypt, after autocratic president Hosni Mubarak was ousted in a popular uprising in February 2011.

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Monday moments – from the desert

Since 2009 an interesting phenomenon has been happening around the Saharan desert, discarded cellphones have been collected and the music stored on them has been shared via bluetooth and mp3 trades. “Since then, many speculated that internet would wash over the desert rendering the peer to peer transfers of cellphone exchanges inútil. Instead, a more sinister force of religious of extremists have spelled an end to cellphone music – banning any non-Koranic mp3s on cellphones. Northerners are holding their breath waiting for the sandstorm to pass.”

On the sahel blog many other interesting vignettes are posted. e.g. “The urban Tamashek youth with their multicolored turbans and sharp clothing are from the desert, but not a few have spend their time in the capitals — the more affluent shooting off to Bamako or Tamanrasset for a brief respite from the desert. And while there is always a brief visit to the desert, the nomad existence couldn’t be further from the life of the town.

“In one of our songs, we tell people to come back. To return to the desert,” he explains. “We say, ‘You’ve quit your life in the desert, and come to the city because you think life is easier. But one day you’re going to regret what you’ve left behind.’”

“You want people to return to the nomadic life?” I ask.

“No,” he says, confused. “The desert — to return to Kidal.”

A friend nearby laughs. “He means Kidal. Look around, this is the desert.”

“The nomads are the real Tamashek.” he says. “We’re…bootleg Tamashek.” They laugh.

Now Music from Saharan Cellphones vol 2. has been released.

Mali Factor

Remnants of European imperialism are on display this year in Africa, as France (and eventually NATO) draws itself deeper into the morass of Mali:

SEGOU, Mali — Malian and French forces were reported in control of two important central Malian towns on Tuesday after the French Defense Ministry said they recaptured them on Monday, pushing back an advance by Islamist militants who have overrun the country’s northern half.

Jean-Yves Le Drian, the defense minister, hailed the advance on Monday as “a clear military success for the government in Bamako and for French forces intervening in support of these operations.”

The developments in Diabaly, about 275 miles north of Bamako, and Douentza, on the eastern bank of the Niger River, some 300 miles to the north-east of the Malian capital, represented a reassertion of government control in areas where a lightning strike by Islamist forces last week prompted France to intervene, initially with air strikes to halt the rebel advance.

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