Nesta quarta-feira (29/06), de forma unânime, o Conselho de Segurança da ONU estendeu os mandatos de três operações de paz lideradas pela organização no Mali, em Darfur (Sudão) e nas Colinas de Golan. A missão no Mali (MINUSMA) foi expandida por um ano e terá um maior número de tropas e policiais. Já a missão nas Colinas de Golan (UNDOF) foi estendida por apenas seis meses e houve forte condenação do conflito armado sírio nas proximidades. Por fim, a UNAMID, missão de paz em Darfur, no Sudão, foi mantida por mais um ano sem alterações.
Demanda por aviões Super Tucano A-29 vem aumentando na África, já que o avião cumpre funções variadas e tem valor mais acessível do que outros modelos, além de simplicidade operacional e fácil manutenção. A expectativa para futuras aquisições vem da confirmação de 11 pedidos da aeronave da Embraer realizados pelo Mali e por Gana, ambos países interessados em treinar pilotos entre outros profissionais voltados para setores de inteligência, vigilância e reconhecimento.
A empresa brasileira Embraer e o Ministério da Defesa e Veteranos do Mali firmaram nesta semana um contrato para a aquisição de seis aviões A-29 Super Tucano, modelo de avião turboélice de ataque leve e treinamento avançado. O acordo inclui suporte logístico para a operação dessas aeronaves e também a instalação de um sistema de treinamento para pilotos e mecânicos da Força Aérea de Mali. As aeronaves serão utilizadas para missões de treinamento avançado, vigilância de fronteiras e de segurança interna.
Tropas estadunidenses de operações especiais estão atualmente treinando unidades de elite para combate ao terrorismo em quatro países do norte e do oeste da África, nomeadamente Mali, Níger, Líbia e Mauritânia. Washington afirma que medida é essencial para a guerra contra o terror, especificamente contra o grupo terrorista Al Qaeda.
Após visita do presidente da União Africana (UA), Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, grupos tuaregues rebeldes do norte do Mali aceitaram um cessar-fogo com as autoridades governamentais na última sexta-feira (23/05). Anúncio vem após uma semana com severos embates entre forças do governo contra rebeldes.
França anunciou que vai reduzir o número de tropas no Mali para mil soldados. Medida estava prevista desde o início da missão Serval, mas foi adiada em várias oportunidades. Anunciou-se também um plano de criar uma lógica regional de combate ao terrorismo na região do Sahel.
Ambos o governo do Mali e os separatistas tuaregues acusaram a França de não fazer o suficiente para resolver a crise política no país, ressaltando as dificuldades que Paris tem em dissolver os laços com a ex-colônia.
Mali, Tuaregs fault France on failing peace talks
Reuters – 04/12/2013 – por John Irish
Mali’s government and Tuareg separatists both accused France on Wednesday of not doing enough to resolve the political crisis, underscoring the difficulties Paris has in disengaging itself from its former colony.
After winning adulation across Mali for a 5-month military offensive earlier this year that scattered al Qaeda fighters, France is caught in a tug of war between the government in Bamako and rebels demanding some form of autonomy based at Kidal in the north.
Mali’s interim government signed a peace agreement with Tuareg representatives in mid-June, allowing national elections to take place. As part of the deal, Bamako agreed to open talks over the Tuaregs’ demands for more autonomy, but those negotiations have stalled.
“The liberation of the country was done jointly (between French and Malian) troops up to Kidal, and then the Malian army was blocked,” Mali’s newly-elected President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta told le Monde newspaper in an interview.
“For someone like me, a friend of France, I can see a negative reaction to the enthusiasm towards France by the Malian population that had lauded the intervention.”
The comments come on the eve of a summit in Paris where France will try to persuade African leaders that it can no longer play policeman on the continent, even as it prepares to act in a new conflict in Central African Republic.
Mali imploded last year when the Tuareg MNLA separatists tried to take control of the north. Their rebellion was soon hijacked by better-armed and funded Islamist militants linked to al Qaeda, before the French intervention in January.
French troops cooperated with the MNLA who took control of the remote northeastern town of Kidal and surrounding areas after the Islamist fighters fled French air strikes into the nearby Adrar des Ifoghas mountains.
But that on-the-ground cooperation, and France’s public insistence that the MNLA should take part in talks on Mali’s political future if it drops a demand for full independence for the north, is an irritant for Mali’s military.
“The international community is forcing us to negotiate on our soil with people who took up arms against the state,” Keita said. “I remind you that we are an independent state.”
A French official dismissed suggestions Paris had ever cooperated with the MNLA and said that talks between Bamako and Tuareg separatists were an Malian issue to which France was merely an observer.
Under the June peace pact that allowed the government to return to Kidal ahead of elections, the rebels remain in Kidal but were required to return to their barracks under the supervision of U.N. peacekeepers, stop carrying arms in public and dismantle all roadblocks.
The MNLA on November 29 said they were ending a five-month-old ceasefire with Mali’s government and taking up arms, a day after Malian troops clashed with stone-throwing protesters who blocked a visit by the prime minister to Kidal.
It said Bamako was not keeping to its side of the deal.
Speaking in Paris, Moussa Ag Assarid, the MNLA’s representative in Europe, said the group had been left with no alternative but to defend itself if attacked by Malian troops, given that the peace talks had seen no progress.
Bamako was showing “no political desire” to move forward, and Paris was not taking control of the situation, he said.
“If Paris does not take a courageous decision and assume its responsibilities then sadly we risk finding ourselves in a terrible situation,” he told reporters.
“France has a historic responsibility to find a solution. Why is (French President Francois) Hollande not trying to find a solution before the Malian government puts in place the same charade as in the past?”
O Comando dos EUA para a África (AFRICOM) pode sofrer corte orçamentário de 10% para o ano que vem, mesmo que tenha sido exitoso em suas operações no Mali e na Somália.
U.S. military faces Africa cuts, sees Somalia, Mali successes
Reuters – 14/11/2013 – por Peter Apps
U.S. military forces in Africa may lose well over a tenth – or some $40 million – from their 2014 budget, the U.S. Africa Command said on Thursday, although it saw success against militants in Somalia and Mali.
The bulk of such cuts will fall on headquarters and training programs, AFRICOM commander General David Rodriguez said, most likely forcing smaller exercises.
The size of AFRICOM headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany, is to be reduced by some 20 percent.
The planned cuts are part of broader across-the-board U.S. spending restrictions dubbed “sequestration” and imposed after Congress failed to agree deficit reduction measures.
AFRICOM – set up in 2007 to coordinate U.S. military activity on the continent – retains some 5,000 troops in Africa at any time, primarily in Djibouti. Much of their focus is on building local military capability and training forces for missions such as the African Union mission AMISOM in Somalia and its U.N. counterpart in Mali.
“The budget is going to be reduced … although I would expect that the number of places where we have exercises will remain approximately the same,” Rodriguez told a press briefing in London.
“We’ve had to reduce the size of some of these exercises and change the nature of some … to involve fewer troops.”
After the September 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, however, Rodriguez said AFRICOM and the State Department had stepped up security at some embassies and improved its information sharing and emergency protocols.
Rodriguez said he believed AMISOM had begun to push back Islamist al Shabaab militants in Somalia and that U.N. forces in Mali had significantly disrupted al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).
Analysts say French and Chadian troops did much of the work in curbing AQIM before the mission became part of a U.N. peacekeeping force in June, and operations now still primarily involve French and Malian troops.
Rodriguez said the just over 100 special forces operators supporting regional militaries in the hunt for Ugandan former Lord’s Resistance Army chief Joseph Kony had also markedly reduced LRA operations, even if Kony himself remained elusive.
OCCASIONAL DIRECT ACTION IN SOMALIA
Piracy in the Gulf of Guinea remained a serious worry, Rodriguez said, with U.S. forces working to train local navies and coastguards. AFRICOM was also working on training and information-sharing with Nigeria’s military as it battles a growing insurgency by Islamist group Boko Haram.
Despite rumors to the contrary, however, he said Washington had no plans to deploy troops or drones in Nigeria despite listing Boko Haram as a banned terror group.
The United States will continue to take its own occasional direct action in Somalia, he said. Although it rarely comments on specifics, Washington has been widely suspected of being behind several drone strikes on al Qaeda and al Shabaab.
In October, U.S. special forces carried out an unsuccessful raid on an al Shabaab leader dubbed “Ikrinna” and suspected of plotting a host of attacks on Western and other targets.
It was not clear whether or not he was involved in the attack the previous month on Nairobi’s Westgate shopping mall that killed 67 and was claimed by the Somali group.
“The effort in Somalia has dislocated al Shabaab,” Rodriguez said, adding that the group had been pushed from the capital Mogadishu in some other areas.
“AMISOM have to keep the pressure up – and that’s just the military picture. A model of things have to be done as well.” That included making Somalia’s transitional government more effective, he said.
In Mali, where Washington has also provided airlift and intelligence to French, U.N. and Malian troops, Rodriguez said AQIM fighters had been dispersed and less effective, even though their overall numbers had likely not fallen.
Despite an upsurge in fighting between Mozambique’s government and the RENAMO opposition, Rodriguez said AFRICOM had no plans to increase support to the Mozambican military.
Há expectativas que o Conselho de Segurança da ONU aprove a criação de uma missão para estabilização de Mali
25 de abril de 2013
A missão, que talvez o Conselho aprove, será destinada para estabilizar a metade norte do país de Mali que era controlado por milícias jihadistas até a operação militar francesa. A resolução autoriza o envio de uma força militar de 11.200 pessoas junto com 1.440 policiais internacionais. O objetivo da missão não é perseguição de insurgentes, mas o controle de cidades estratégicas ao norte de Mali e dar auxílio na reestabilização do governo, armando a polícia local e desarmando combatentes.
France commits to a long war just three months after launching its biggest military operation in Africa in 50 years
12 de abril de 2013 – ThinkAfricaPress
The official version is that France’s Mali operation has achieved all its objectives – the expulsion of jihadist forces from main northern towns and the destruction of several bases in the Adrar des Ifoghas mountains – apart from the rescue of seven hostages still held in the region. This week the withdrawal began, with 100 or so French soldiers going home. France had airlifted 4,000 troops to Mali and sent another 2,000 from its bases in Chad and Côte d’Ivoire. Initially, French President François Hollande’s government had said that all French troops would be out after elections were organised: they are scheduled for July. However, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, who has been sceptical about the operation from the start, announced on a 5 April visit to Bamako that France would maintain a ‘support force’ of 1,000 soldiers in Mali on a ‘permanent basis’. This was France’s first public commitment to a long-term military presence. It was more forceful coming from the cautious Fabius rather than the more bullish Defence Minister, Jean-Yves le Drian.
Not so temporary
Until then, Hollande’s ministers had insisted that this was an emergency operation and that it would be temporary. After ejecting jihadists from northern Mali, the plan went, French troops would hand over the job to Malian soldiers and the Mission internationale de soutien au Mali (Misma), which drew in forces from a dozen west African countries. The resolution approved by the United Nations Security Council last December envisaged troops from the Economic Community of West African States playing the front-line role. France would provide logistical and intelligence support and some European Union countries would retrain the national army. (mais…)
Mali’s war, unseen
02 de abril de 2013 – The Vision Machine/Thomas R. Lansner
Menacingly shrouded Al-Qaeda fighters… Paratroops descending on the ‘fabled desert city of Timbuktu’… Jubilant throngs of kids, grinning… People waving or even wearing the French ‘tricolore’… Women again adorned in brightly-colored traditional dress feting French soldiers… The French president joyfully mobbed… Staring from our screens, grim-faced amputee survivors of Islamist [in]justice… Mali “in flames”… And, yes, a few dead people….
These “snapshots” of Mali’s war—embodied in their representative images—define what most the world has learned of the ongoing conflict in the West African state. Most of the photos available, as the French daily newspaper Liberation observes, “have the feeling of having been produced by the school of fine arts of war….” [“avec le sentiment donné d’avoir été produites par l’école des beaux-arts de la guerre….”]
Serval-ing the dominant narrative
These images very comfortably fit and exceedingly well serve the dominant narrative of the origins and expected outcome of France’s military intervention in its former colony: that “Operation Serval,” was launched on 11 January 2013 to repel aggression by “terrorist” forces, and will quickly conclude with victory over brutal fundamentalists, aided by warmly welcomed and enlightened foreigners. (mais…)
Autoridades do Mali anunciam controle do Norte do país
01 de abril de 2013 – Agência Brasil/Renata Giraldi
Após o agravamento das tensões entre as forças do governo e os extremistas no Mali, as autoridades do país anunciaram hoje (1º) que o Norte está sob controle. Segundo as informações, os extremistas, que se encontravam em Timbuktu, foram dominados. A ordem, de acordo com as forças oficiais, foi estabelecida ontem (31) à noite.
O controle foi possível depois que os extremistas, no sábado (30), infiltraram-se em Timbuktu, desencadeando um dia de confrontos com as tropas do governo. Os confrontos causaram seis mortes: de quatro extremistas, um soldado e um civil.
De acordo com moradores, os enfrentamentos cessaram. O governo da França enviou soldados e caças para ajudar o Exército do Mali, desde que houve ataques contra uma base militar e um hotel que servia de residência temporária para as autoridades. (mais…)
Old Wine in New Bottles? Justifying France’s Military Intervention in Mali
18 março de 2013 – Think Africa Press
France is at it again. Less than two years after Franco-British-led air strikes helped topple Muammar Gaddafi’s regime in Libya in March 2011, and French troops made the arrest of the former Ivorian president Laurent Gbagbo possible in April 2011, the French army is once again intervening in Africa; this time, according to the official discourse, to fight terrorist and criminal groups in Mali who pose a menace to the integrity of a democratic country, the lives of about 5,000 French expatriates, and the security of both Africa and Europe.
France has a long history of military interventions in sub-Saharan Africa, which traditionally have served the safeguarding or installation of governments friendly to France, the protection of French economic interests, or boosted France’s role in the world. In the period from 1960 to 2005, there have reportedly been 46 French military operations in Francophone Africa.
France, thanks heavily to Africa, has been able to maintain its status as an important player on the international scene. And although the old neo-colonial Françafrique system may be dead or dying, French foreign policy remains very much alive when it comes to Africa. (mais…)
Post-Conflict Mali: Reprisal or Reconciliation?
27 de fevereiro de 2013 – ThinkAfricaPress
Mali has a history of Tuareg rebellions followed by fragile peace and return to violence. Dialogue and long-term planning are needed now to avoid repeating this cycle of conflict.
More than a month after the rapid French intervention in northern Mali, events have arrived at a kind of uneasy stasis punctuated by bouts of intense and possibly increasing violence.
In the town of Gao, the threat of militants hiding in nearby villages remains ever-present following a series of assaults on the city that took place earlier this month. In Kidal, the Tuareg secessionist group, the National Movement for the Liberation of the Azawad (MNLA), and the Islamic Movement of the Azawad (MIA) share space with forces from France and Chad; the glaring absence of the Malian army, at the behest of France, is meanwhile leading to growing confusion and frustration amongst Malians in Bamako. And while Timbuktu has not seen militant activity since its liberation in late January, it has instead seen the suspicious detention and alleged forced disappearances of locals – largely Arabs and Tuaregs, but also including at least one Songhai man. These incidents are part of a larger series of suspected abuses that has garnered international attention, as well as the promise of an inquiry. (mais…)
The Regional Threat Posed By Mali’s Militants
18 de fevereiro de 2013 – All Africa
Militant Islamists fleeing northern Mali under pressure from French forces could undermine security in neighbouring countries from where some of the fighters are believed to hail. They could also attract the support of sympathetic militias in the region, and even target countries with large expatriate communities, analysts say.
Members of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM – an extremist Islamist group that emerged in the 1990s), its splinter faction the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO), and Ansar Dine (a Tuareg group that sprung up in 2012), are believed to have retreated to Mali’s mountainous region near the Algerian border.
However, their ability to carry out attacks outside Mali largely depends on the strength of their networks abroad and the extent to which military intervention (currently led by France and in which at least eight West African countries are to take part), galvanizes opponents. (mais…)
Crisis in command
Secret deals between army putschists and the jihadists threaten the military campaign as Bamako politicians demand retribution
15 de fevereiro de 2013 – Africa Confidential
The strange pact under which President Dioncounda Traoré appointed the serial putschist Captain Amadou Sanogo as head of the military reform committee in a grand ceremony in Bamako on 13 February exposes the contradictions at the heart of the government. It also raises questions about the fractured command of the national army and its willingness to fight alongside French and West African forces in northern Mali. These doubts will probably speed up the timetable for the United Nations’ involvement, as requested by France and now discreetly backed by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
The idea is that the 7,000 West African forces would be subsumed into a UN peacekeeping operation, paid for by the UN Secretariat in New York. UN Political Affairs officials would work with ECOWAS to organise and supervise national elections. That, at least, is the French and West African plan but UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon remains far from convinced. (mais…)
African Troops Arrive As Divisions Fracture Malian Army
13 de fevereiro de 2013 – All Africa/Soumaila T. Diarra
Soldiers belonging to the African-led International Support Mission to Mali continue to stream into this West African nation, as several hundred troops have already been deployed to secure towns across the country.
Troops from Benin, Cote d’Ivoire and Senegal – representing the Community of West African States (ECOWAS) contingent of AFISMA – are among the recent arrivals in Bamako. According to a source close to the Malian Ministry of Defence, over 5,000 West African soldiers will be stationed in Mali before the end of February and about half of these have already arrived.
The central Malian town of Markala is currently host to 600 troops from Burkina Faso. (mais…)
Mali Needs Military and Political Approach
05 de fevereiro de 2013 – All Africa
Both military and political efforts are vital if Mali’s partners are to help the country emerge from its ongoing crisis, the United Nations political chief stressed today at a conference held in Brussels to discuss the latest situation in the West African nation.
“Ultimately, the success of our support to the Malian people will depend on the effective combination of our political and security efforts,” Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman, told the meeting, which also included the participation of regional bodies such as the African Union (AU) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). (mais…)
The Consequences of Intervening in Syria
31 de janeiro de 2013 – Stratfor/Scott Stewart
The French military’s current campaign to dislodge jihadist militants from northern Mali and the recent high-profile attack against a natural gas facility in Algeria are both directly linked to the foreign intervention in Libya that overthrew the Gadhafi regime. There is also a strong connection between these events and foreign powers’ decision not to intervene in Mali when the military conducted a coup in March 2012. The coup occurred as thousands of heavily armed Tuareg tribesmen were returning home to northern Mali after serving in Moammar Gadhafi’s military, and the confluence of these events resulted in an implosion of the Malian military and a power vacuum in the north. Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and other jihadists were able to take advantage of this situation to seize power in the northern part of the African nation.
As all these events transpire in northern Africa, another type of foreign intervention is occurring in Syria. Instead of direct foreign military intervention, like that taken against the Gadhafi regime in Libya in 2011, or the lack of intervention seen in Mali in March 2012, the West — and its Middle Eastern partners — have pursued a middle-ground approach in Syria. That is, these powers are providing logistical aid to the various Syrian rebel factions but are not intervening directly.
Just as there were repercussions for the decisions to conduct a direct intervention in Libya and not to intervene in Mali, there will be repercussions for the partial intervention approach in Syria. Those consequences are becoming more apparent as the crisis drags on. (mais…)
França pede envio de observadores internacionais ao Mali
30 de janeiro de 2013 – Agência Brasil/Carolina Gonçalves
O primeiro-ministro francês, Jean-Marc Ayrault, pediu hoje (30) o envio de observadores internacionais ao Mali para garantir que os direitos humanos sejam estabelecidos e para evitar retaliações por parte de grupos islâmicos armados. Em reunião com os líderes do parlamento, Ayrault citou resolução do Conselho de Segurança da Organização das Nações Unidas (ONU), que autoriza a mobilização de uma força africana no Mali para reconquistar o Norte do país, que era controlado por radicais islâmicos. Ayrault cobrou responsabilidade das autoridades malinesas no estabelecimento das condições de segurança.
Na semana passada, a Federação Internacional dos Direitos Humanos denunciou “uma série de execuções sumárias” no Oste e no Centro do Mali, que teria a participação do Exército. De acordo com o relato, pelo menos 11 pessoas teriam sido executadas em Sévaré, no Centro do país. (mais…)
Britain to send forces to Mali as part of EU mission
29 de janeiro de 2013 – RT
Downing Street has said that the British government will dispatch 350 troops to Mali to aid French troops stationed in the country’s north, as part of a UK mission to train local forces and engage in “force protection.”
British representatives are attending a meeting in Brussels on Tuesday to discuss the provision of troops as part of an EU mission to the African country. The EU estimates that 500 supplementary troops will be sent to Mali, some 350 of which will be British. This will include approximately 40 military advisers who will train soldiers in Mali and 200 British soldiers to be sent to neighboring African countries.
An ECOWAS (Economic Community Of West African States) force of West African troops – about 7,500 of them – are also coming into Mali to take over some garrison duties, and steadily take over the fighting role from the French (mais…)
Mali: Taking the fight to the desert
25 de janeiro de 2013 – Africa Confidential
As France pours men and money into the battle against jihadists, the contours of Mali’s crisis are rapidly changing. Bombing raids may have ended the militants’ hegemony over the people of Timbuktu and Gao, but their campaign is far from over. Restoring some security across the Sahara will be a slow and painful business, with many reverses. Pounded by French air strikes near Leré, fighters led by Al Qaida’s Algerian commander Abdel Hamid Abou Zeid quickly hit back, attacking Diabali. Then, half a desert away, on 16 January Moulathmine Islamist militants took 41 foreign oil workers hostage at In Amenas, south-east Algeria.
The timetable for the West African military intervention approved by the United Nations Security Council in December has been accelerated (AC Vol 54 No 1, Talk first, fight later). Yet the effectiveness of this new force remains to be tested. Governments have quickly promised deployments but are slower to deliver them. So has the European mission to retrain Mali’s army, whose fragility is evident. Will contributing countries still want their experts to work alongside Malian troops if they are hurried into combat? (mais…)
U.S. Prepares Support for French Military Intervention in Mali
14 de janeiro de 2013 – All Africa
U.S. Secretary of Defence Leon Panetta has applauded France’s surprise airstrikes on Islamist rebels in northern Mali that began late last week and continued over the weekend.
Panetta added that the U.S. government is readying plans for assistance in the ongoing operations, which scholars and human rights workers worry could continue for an extended period.
French Fighter Jets Pound Mali, Top Islamist Leader Reported Killed
14 de janeiro de 2013 – All Africa
French Mirage fighter jets on Sunday pounded Mali for a third day and a top Islamist leader was reported killed as African troops headed to the west African country.
“There were [air strikes] last night, there are now and there will be today and tomorrow,” Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said in televised remarks.
“Our intervention is ongoing and we will continue in order to make them [Islamist fighters] retreat and allow Malian and African forces to go forward and re-establish the territorial integrity of the country,” Le Drian said. (mais…)
African Union backs Mali troops plan
14 de novembro de 2012 – Al Jazeera
African leaders have endorsed a plan to send a 3,300-strong force to wrest control of northern Mali from Islamist fighters, as fears grow over risks they pose to the region and beyond.
The African Union Peace and Security Council “has decided … to endorse a harmonised concept of operations for the planned deployment of AFISMA, which is the African-led mission in support of Mali”, said Ramtane Lamamra, the union’s commissioner for peace and security.
The goal of the mission, endorsed by the AU on Tuesday, would be to “regain the occupied regions in the north of the country, dismantle the terrorist and criminal networks and restore effectively the authority of the state over the entire national territory”, Lamamra said. (mais…)
ECOWAS agrees to Mali intervention force
12 de novembro de 2012 – Al Jazeera
West African leaders at an emergency summit have agreed on a 3,300-strong force to wrest control of northern Mali from
Islamist fighters, as fears grow over risks they pose to the region and beyond.
“We foresee 3,300 soldiers for a timeframe of one year,” Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara, the current ECOWAS chairman, told journalists on Sunday after the summit.
The troops would come primarily from ECOWAS, but possibly from countries outside the bloc as well, he said. (mais…)
Regional confrontation looms
Support in the UN and Europe is growing for a West African military force to push out the entrenched jihadist groups in northern Mali
19 de outubro de 2012 – Africa Confidencial
The developing plan to oust the jihadist forces controlling northern Mali is moving forward, with regional security talks in Bamako starting on 19 October and a meeting between the Algerian and French Presidents on the following day. So far, much of the effort has gone on military and logistical coordination, without much thought on any side about the equally important question of political strategy.
There is a danger that a poorly conceived military campaign could draw many states in the region into a lengthy and bloody conflict, at least as catastrophic as Somalia’s two-decade civil war. If anything, the prognosis for West Africa is more ominous than it was in the mid-1990s for Somalia. It is more complex and less self-contained than the Somali crisis. Local jihadists, Ansar Eddine and the Mouvement pour l’unicité et le jihad en Afrique de l’Ouest (MUJAO), have secured most of the key centres in northern Mali, where they profit from highly lucrative drugs, arms and people smuggling operations. (mais…)
Mali announces national unity government
21 de agosto 2012 – Al Jazeera
Cabinet includes five appointees known to be close to army officer who led the March coup that sparked ongoing turmoil.
Mali’s interim president, Dioncounda Traore, has announced a new cabinet in a bid to restore stability to the nation in the wake of the political chaos started by a coup.
The West African country has been in crisis since March when Amadou Toumani Toure, the democratically elected president, was overthrown by a military coup headed by Captain Amadou Sanogo.
The ensuing political turmoil allowed al-Qaeda-linked fighters to wrest control of the northern desert regions. (mais…)
Bloco africano discute sanções ao Mali e rebeldes avançam
Correio do Brasil – 02/04/2012
Líderes da África Ocidental vão decidir nesta segunda-feira se imporão sanções ao Mali, depois de militares golpistas do país anunciarem que vão devolver o poder aos civis a fim de evitar isolamento diplomático e econômico.
Um prazo de 72 horas dado pelo bloco regional Comunidade Econômica dos Estados da África Ocidental (CEDEAO) para que os soldados comecem a voltar aos quartéis expirou durante a noite, enquanto os rebeldes separatistas do norte diziam ter completado uma ofensiva-relâmpago no sul, tomando três capitais regionais em três dias, diante do recuo das unidades militares.
Remi Ajibewa, diretor de assuntos políticos do bloco, acusou o chefe da junta militar, capitão Amadou Sanogo, de tentar “ganhar tempo” com as promessas de restaurar a Constituição e todas as instituições estatais antes de convocar eleições.
Ele disse, porém, que uma decisão sobre sanções só seria tomada numa cúpula marcada para segunda-feira no Senegal, aproveitando a posse do novo presidente desse país, Macky Sall. “Exceto por anunciar a restauração da Constituição de 1992, eles não estabeleceram nenhum cronograma para transferir o poder a um governo democraticamente eleito no Mali”, acrescentou. (mais…)
Mali rebels launch assault on key northern town
Reuters – 31/03/2012 – por Cheick Dioura & Adama Diarra
Heavily armed Malian rebels in pick-up trucks attacked the northern garrison town of Gao on Saturday, capitalizing on the chaos after last week’s military coup to make further gains.
The assault came a day after rebels – a loose alliance of separatist nomad Tuaregs and local Islamists – seized the town of Kidal, which is one of the three main towns of Mali’s north, along with Gao and the historic trading city of Timbuktu.
Junta leaders, whose neighbors have given them until Monday to return power to civilians or face a crippling closure of trade borders and other sanctions, pledged to come up with proposals “very quickly” to restore constitutional order.
“We do not want to confiscate power,” Colonel Moussa Sinko Coulibaly told reporters in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, after talks with Burkina President Blaise Compaore, the main mediator in the crisis.
“We will try to refine proposals to quickly reach an institutional solution acceptable to (West African bloc) ECOWAS, the international community but also of course our national community,” said Coulibaly, head of cabinet for junta leader Amadou Sanogo.
In northern Mali, a Reuters reporter saw the rebels entering the town of Gao and hoisting the flag of Azawad, the desert territory bigger than France that they want to make their homeland, before pulling back after meeting resistance. (mais…)