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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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, [...]
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.
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, [...]
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 [...]
Fears of terrorist reprisals in Europe rise as more than 120 reported dead after French air strikes on extremists
The Observer, By Peter Beaumont, Cass Jones & Kim Willsher, January 12
Paris – Britain announced on Saturday night that it was deploying aircraft to assist French military operations against Islamist rebels in Mali as an [...]