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The Jehoshua Novels


Keita wins Mali election after Cisse concedes

No official results have yet been released following Sunday’s runoff, however, reports had put former PM well ahead.

Al Jazeera, August 13

Mali’s presidential election has been won by Ibrahim Boubacar Keita after his rival conceded defeat in the second round runoff.

Ex-Finance Minister Soumaila Cisse said he had congratulated his rival Keita on winning [...]

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 [...]

“It is about time to stop lying to us and treating people like imbeciles.”

Speech by Laurent Louis – Posted by Michael Collins (This is a feel good post;)

“And today, in the name of democracy and the fight against terrorism, our states grant themselves the right to violate the sovereignty of independent countries and to overthrow legitimate leaders.” Laurent Louis, Belgian MP

Tearing Down [...]

Mali plans July elections as it makes gains in battle against militants

CNN, By Antonia Mortensen

The Malian president announced plans to hold elections by July as French-led troops battled Islamists in the last major northern town under militant control.

A battle is under way to secure Kidal, the last major town in the sweep to flush out militants in the north.

The French military said it [...]

Malian Troops Stand And Watch Ethnic Looting In Timbuktu

No-one could have guessed this would happen…

Simmering ethnic tensions boiled over in Mali on Tuesday as the army hunted down suspected Islamist fighters and residents took revenge on shops belonging to the country’s Tuareg and Arab minorities.

Reports from the Saharan town of Timbuktu said that dozens of residents had attacked property owned by [...]

Britain “Keen” To Send “Sizeable Amount” Of Troops To Mali – Downing Street

The Guardian reports that Cameron is ready to send troops into Afrighanistan, but not in a combat role – although that latter bit entirely depends on a cheating definition of “combat role” already used by the US in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Britain is prepared to take the risk of sending a “sizeable amount” of [...]

French, Malian Troops Take Timbuktu Without A Fight

French and Malian forces have retaken the towns of Timbuktu and Gao in the nation’s North over the weekend, in both cases without meeting resistance, leaving just one major town in rebel hands. Their forces have been bolstered by the first Chadian and Nigerian troops out of an expected total of 7,700 from the [...]

What Happens If France Asks For Western Ground Troops In Mali?

There’s a real thought-provoker buried in The French Mess In Mali and Libya by Prof. Rajan Menon today – the entire piece about the chances France may find itself in a quagmire in Mali is worth a read but this caught my eye:

France could find itself in just the pickle it wants to [...]

War in Mali: Is France Alone?

France24:

Since January 11, France has a new president, a warrior president. On that day, François Hollande decided to send French troops into Mali, first in the air and now on the ground, and for quite a while it seems. At first, most political parties rallied around the flag and supported the war. But [...]

History Doesn’t Exist

I’m so old I remember when military intervention in Libya helped to destabilize Mali (h/t):

Equipped with heavy weapons from Muammar Gaddafi’s looted arsenals, the Tuareg-led rebels who assaulted the town of Aguelhoc in northern Mali last month overwhelmed the remote garrison.

Fighters hardened by combat in Libya swelled the ranks of the desert [...]

Clinton Pushes U.S. Lead In ” Long-Term Struggle” In Africa

Lest anyone think I’m a fan of Secretary Clinton – I’m not. She’s been a consistently hawkish voice in the Obama camp, arguing for interventions and pushing the country towards ever more wars. But while the right is honing in on a single phrase for domestic political ends, her testimony to the Senate Foreign [...]

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, [...]

UK’s Cameron: North Africa Is Next Theater In Great War On Terror

As French toops in Mali pursue Islamist rebels who seem to be heading for bastions in the remote Northern mountains, the UK prime minister David Cameron has referenced the Algerian hostage standoff to make clear that North Africa is the West’s new stage and theater for the Forever War. The bold emphasis is mine.

[...]

Is “M.a.l.i.” how we’ll be spelling “quagmire” next?

Mali isn’t Afghanistan, but the theater of operations France has committed itself to is a vast desert area the size of Texas and their opposition are hardened fighters well-used to the conditions there. The French intervention in Mali, backed with logistical and surveillance help by the US and other allies who are members of NATO, [...]

Mali Islamists seize town amid French intervention

France committed its forces to a military intervention in Mali to stop the Islamists’ advance toward Bamako. Today, they threatened payback.

French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Diabaly, 400km (250 miles) from the capital, Bamako, was taken in a counter-attack on Monday.

Mr Le Drian insisted France’s campaign was “developing favourably”.

He said Islamists [...]