coup in mali

There is a lot more to this struggle than meets the eye. It has to do with the future of AFRICOM, land and water dispossession, climate change, remnants of colonialism, development schemes awash in Libyan petrodollars, attempts to integrate indigenous and nomadic people into the state structure, and the impossibilities of development under crushing IMF loans and shady public-private partnerships. This is my attempt to digest a lot of the new information I am getting. I am not an expert, just someone who is reading news articles and trying to figure out the situation for themselves. Hopefully someone will take this crude effortpost and use their greater knowledge to refine it. Deeply indebted to Pambazuka, which had great coverage on present and historical issues in Mali and was a portal to other pertinent information from other sources.

Background
The modern state of Mali emerged in 1960, when its imperial plunderers ceased to formally govern the country. However, outside interference and exploitation continue to increase unabated up to the present day. The national bonds of Mali have been fragile since its creation. Tuaregs in the north, representing a good tenth or so of the population, have vigorously resisted attempts at integration into the structure of the Malian state, and their campaign has grown more and more successful over the years. They scoff at the idea that Mali's northern border disputes will ever be resolved, given the incompatibility of rigid state borders with their lifestyle. The battle of the army of Mali against the Tuaregs has provided a pretext for military cooperation between the Mali government and other nations, such as Algeria and the United States.

The first iteration of Malian government, led by Modibo Keita, was developmentalist in character, organized around the creation of a state-governed cotton industry. However, in 1968, the fledgling popular government was overthrown by military coup. In 1981, under the military leadership of General Moussa Traore, Mali was a test case for the IMF structural adjustment program, a move which hobbled the Malian economy. This meant that the vanishingly small part of the development budget which went to infrastructure development in the North--17%--was decreased by new fiscal constraints. Even when military rule ended, democracy was ostensibly restored, and infrastructure spending in the north shot up to 48%, Mali was saddled with a 3 billion dollar debt. 60% of its fiscal receipts went towards debt servicing. Meanwhile, life for the Tuaregs worsened as a series of droughts disrupted their pastoralist lifestyle and forced some of them to seek a bare-bones survival in the cities. Large parts of the north of Mali are Saharan desert, and any disruption in the water supply means death. Gaddafi's Libya also absorbed a large population of Tuareg

Mali's economy is largely export-driven and relies on a few main industries: agricultural exports(mostly cotton), gold mining(an industry which employs up to 40,000 children), iron mining, and outside development money. 80% of people in the country are employed in agriculture. Many of these people's livelihoods are under threat by the plundering of the land and water by private industries. The state formally owns all the land in Mali, and has used this as a pretext to become a sort of land dealer, giving 50-year leases to outside investors like Libya, China, and Senegal. This development plans disrupt the fragile balance of survival that many Malian people depend on; there are no environmental impact studies done, cattle routes are disrupted, land is expropriated and homes flattened in exchange for a few hundred dollars. It is interesting to note that many of these development projects were being funded by the "Malibya" development corporation and paid for the largesse of the Libyan state under Gaddafi. I do not have any information on the effect that NTC rule in Libya will have on these development initiatives.

For the 162,000 hectares of land deals approved for allocation thus far – 0.6 % of Mali’s cultivable land, according to the FAO – the government will be paid 292 million dollars by investors from Libya, the West African Economic and Monetary Union and the US-funded Millennium Challenge Account


Those responsible within the government maintain that the country could not make use of this cultivatable land without foreign investment, but local farmers state that they are afraid of being chased off their ancestral land and of becoming ‘landless’ like farmers in Brazil.



War on Terror, War on Tuaregs

I mentioned in the OP that Toure was overthrown for not being "proactive" enough, in the eyes of the Malian military, in fighting off the MNLA, which had taken control of about a third of the country and was advancing on cities in the Niger River area. This was sort of close to the truth, but the fuller story seems a lot more complicated.

First of all, the Mali military is not only fighting Tuaregs, although they make up the bulk of the resistance. Another important faction is the Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb(AQIM), a group of combat veterans coming out of the Algerian Civil War and formerly known as the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat. Like most of the "al Qaeda" that the US quixotically chases after, its connection to any sort of greater organization is tenuous outside of the coincidental name. Ayman al-Zawahiri only formally inducted AQIM in the al Qaeda fold in 2006. The more relevant connection would be to the Afghan War against the Soviets; many leaders in AQIM are alumni of this US Mujahideen training program.

The US State Department gave Mali 5 million dollars and sent in 300 'military advisors' under the pretense of fighting AQIM. Mali's military budget is about 70 million dollars and their national budget is about 1.5 billion dollars.

The US government has worried that the turmoil in Algeria would spread across the Sahara into places such as Mali. In 2002, the Bush administration set up the Pan Sahel Initiative (PSI), which became, in 2005, the Trans-Sahel Counterterrorism Initiative (and later Partnership, the TSCTP). The point was to take the military forces from the seven 'willing' Saharan countries and train them to fight their various foes, some of whom might be offshoots of al-Qaeda (AQIM, however, was not formed till 2006, when this military interchange was already fairly advanced). With the trans-Sahel project, the US government put in US$500 million over five years, mainly for military hardware, as if the militaries of Ghana and Nigeria, which joined up, need more funds.



Although, the State Department is not the only one involved; from April to June this year, 300 US Special Forces 'advisers' trained the Malian military at three of its bases. These Sahelian initiatives are now run through AFRICOM, the US African Command, set up in October 2007. It operates a programme called 'Joint Task Force Aztec Silence'. The Cowboys are playing Cortés in the desert. The 'silence' after Aztec is chilling.



The battle with the Tuaregs, as mentioned previously, has been ongoing since the inception of the Malian state, taking place in three major waves, starting in 1962, 1990, and 2006. The new commitment to development in the North that led to such an increase in infrastructure spending was a response to the 1990 rebellion, which President Alpha Oumar Konaré realized could not be solved through military means. The 2006 rebellion, handled by Toure, was similarly met with insincere promises of increased development laid out in the Algiers Accord. Hopes for peace were dashed in 2009 when the military moved to kill Tuareg leader Ibrahim Ag Bahanga, who was not part of the Algiers Accord.

Since then, Toure had been biding his time, waiting for more counterterrorism funding to come in from the US to fight "the al-Qaeda threat" before making his move. As long as he kept up the pretense of helping Washington's insane, misguided crusade against anything that calls itself al-Qaeda, he could expect his forces to steadily grow until they were ready to subjugate all Tuareg resistance.

Touré is playing a double game: he has pledged to start a 'total struggle' against the terrorists, but won't release his troops unless they are better equipped and trained by the United States. It wants air power (a reminder of the time when the Italians bombed the Berber with the view that the bombs 'had a wonderful effect on the morale of the Arabs', according to the Italian air commandante in charge of the 1911 operation). Touré is using the AQIM threat to consolidate his power, and to bring in the cash. More money is on offer for counterterrorism than for development.



Coup and Beyond

Apparently, though, this game of waiting and attrition was not enough to assuage the fears of the Malian military. Toure's strategy was essentially crippled by the Libyan revolt, which empowered the Tuareg rebels with a new arsenal, an influx of battle-trained veterans from both sides of the Libyan civil war, and called into question the lucrative development deals Libya had been working out with Mali.

In a country that is being exploited on all sides by outsiders, a non-military solution to this intractable rebellion has been made impossible by the structural constraints on the Malian economy. The Malian military has made their intention clear: to solve the Tuareg problem once and for all with decisive violence and "restore democracy" once the Tuareg have been forced to submit. The Tuareg resistance is highly invigorated and extremely successful, though. I do not think the military solution will work in 2012 if it did not work in 1990. As early as one month ago, 130,000 people had been displaced by this war, and now wander lost, separated from their land, their homes, their families, their livestock.

The perfunctory US condemnation of this coup belies the role of the West in causing the conflict, from its decades-old training of AQIM leadership to the World Bank's crippling of Malian development through the SAP, from its massive grant to the Malian military at the expense of civil society to its patronization of a sham democracy whose corrupt liberal leaders allowed the country to be exploited at every turn.

Discussion of coup in mali on tHE r H i z z o n E:

#1
Ugh, what a mess. Please God someone come in and rebuke this shallow analysis.
#2
great post
#3

Atrocity: An insurance company with a bunch of papers what got ripped out of it and strewn about everywhere. War is hell.

So apparently the military has been looting and stealing in Bamako pretty indiscriminately, robbing gas stations and stores, hijacking cars. The official junta line is that people are putting on soldier's uniforms and doing this to discredit the new military government, which is... kind of a stretch, I guess.

http://www.edmontonjournal.com/news/Mali+Tuareg+rebels+advance+world+condemns+coup/6353419/story.html

Few updates:
-Apparently the number of people displaced by this conflict is up to 204,000.
-The coup's military objectives backfired. The MNLA advanced to Anefis in central northeastern Mali.
-AU has expelled Mali after the coup, France, China, Canada, the US, and Economic Community Of West African States(ECOWAS) have all condemned the coup.
-The US is threatening to pull out 70 million dollars in development money, but "direct aid to the population will continue."
-Mali is going through another drought right now, putting even more people at risk.

The 15-member West African bloc ECOWAS says it will hold an emergency summit on Tuesday in Cote d'Ivoire's economic capital Abidjan on the crisis in Mali.



Here is what a bunch of wicked devil men think about the coup, and its implications on the Malian economy.

Before its ouster yesterday, Mali’s government accused the Touareg group, known by its French acronym MNLA, of working with al-Qaeda and regional drug traffickers.

...

Tens of thousands of people have fled their homes, moving to other areas of Mali and to neighboring countries including Burkina Faso, Mauritania and Niger to escape the violence between the MNLA and the army and in fear of reprisal attacks, according to the International Red Cross. Their plight is worsening a food-security crisis that threatens 15 million people in seven countries, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.

...

Mali vies with Tanzania to be Africa’s third-biggest gold producer. Companies including AngloGold Ashanti Ltd. (ANG), the world’s third-largest producer of the metal, and Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS), have operations in the country. Randgold’s shares closed 13 percent lower at 5,765 pence in London yesterday. Chief Executive Officer Mark Bristow said the company’s mines are unaffected. Mali produced about 44 metric tons of gold in 2011.

...

The Taoudeni basin, where the MNLA is seeking autonomy, is thought to contain reserves of crude oil, according to Lassana Guindo, the national director of geology and mining. Petroplus Africa Ltd. and Simba Energy Inc. (SMB) are among the companies that have signed deals to search for crude in Mali. The basin has 25 oil blocks, with 13 under exploration, Guindo said on March 13.

...

Weapons and ammunition from Libyan stockpiles, including anti-aircraft artillery and explosives, were smuggled into Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso, according to the report. Some of the estimated 2,000 Touareg rebels who have returned from Libya had been high-ranking officers in the Libyan army.

...

Mali was due to hold a presidential election on April 29, with Toure set to step down after serving two terms in office. The leader had vowed to quash the Touareg rebellion before next month’s vote.

...

The MNLA denied that it has any connection with al-Qaeda’s northwest African unit, according to its website. AQIM has taken responsibility for a rise in kidnappings in the vast region, including attacks in Algeria, Niger and Mauritania.

...

estimates have put AQIM membership at just 300.

...

In parts of landlocked Mali, especially in the north, as much as 70 percent of the population is facing “acute food insecurity” with a lack of drinking water and animal feed, said Souleymane Sana, assistant country director for Oxfam Novib, by phone from Bamako yesterday. Oxfam Novib’s program to distribute staple foods including sorghum and cooking oil has been suspended and staff have been told to stay at home, Sana said.

Edited by bonclay ()

#4
hey bonclay i just want to say thanks, i need to read this thread in more detail to make any kind of intelligent comment but this all looks great
#5
good posts op. i dont have shot to add except that according to AP the coup leader Sanogo was trained at the school of the Americas or whatever the US calls their coup-factory these days

http://m.yahoo.com/w/news_america/tuareg-rebels-mali-town-threaten-3-more-160231873.html
#6

In a move to counteract Chinese economic ascendancy, Washington is crusading against China's export restrictions on minerals that are crucial components in the production of consumer electronics such as flat-screen televisions, smart phones, laptop batteries, and a host of other products. In a 2010 white paper entitled “Critical Raw Materials for the EU,” the European Commission cites the immediate need for reserve supplies of tantalum, cobalt, niobium, and tungsten among others; the US Department of Energy 2010 white paper “Critical Mineral Strategy” also acknowledged the strategic importance of these key components. Coincidently, the US military is now attempting to increase its presence in what is widely considered the world’s most resource rich nation, the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The DRC has suffered immensely during its history of foreign plunder and colonial occupation; it maintains the second lowest GDP per capita despite having an estimated $24 trillion in untapped raw minerals deposits. During the Congo Wars of the 1996 to 2003, the United States provided training and arms to Rwandan and Ugandan militias who later invaded the eastern provinces of the DRC in proxy. In addition to benefiting various multinational corporations, the regimes of Paul Kagame in Rwanda and Yoweri Museveni in Uganda both profited immensely from the plunder of Congolese conflict minerals such as cassiterite, wolframite, coltan (from which niobium and tantalum are derived) and gold. The DRC holds more than 30% of the world's diamond reserves and 80% of the world's coltan, the majority of which is exported to China for processing into electronic-grade tantalum powder and wiring.

China’s unprecedented economic transformation has relied not only on consumer markets in the United States, Australia and the EU – but also on Africa, as a source for a vast array of raw materials. As Chinese economic and cultural influence in Africa expands exponentially with the symbolic construction of the new $200 million African Union headquarters funded solely by Beijing, the ailing United States and its leadership have expressed dissatisfaction toward its diminishing role in the region. During a diplomatic tour of Africa in 2011, US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton herself has irresponsibly insinuated China’s guilt in perpetuating a creeping “new colonialism.”

At a time when China holds an estimated $1.5 trillion in American government debt, Clinton’s comments remain dangerously provocative. As China, backed by the world’s largest foreign currency reserves, begins to offer loans to its BRICS counterparts in RMB, the prospect of emerging nations resisting the New American Century appear to be increasingly assured. While the success of Anglo-American imperialism relies on its capacity to militarily drive target nations into submission, today’s African leaders are not obliged to do business with China – although doing so may be to their benefit. China annually invests an estimated $5.5 billion in Africa, with only 29 percent of direct investment in the mining sector in 2009 – while more than half was directed toward domestic manufacturing, finance, and construction industries, which largely benefit Africans themselves – despite reports of worker mistreatment.

China has further committed $10 billion in concessional loans to Africa between 2009 and 2012 and made significant investments in manufacturing zones in non-resource-rich economies such as Zambia and Tanzania. As Africa’s largest trading partner, China imports 1.5 million barrels of oil from Africa per day, approximately accounting for 30 percent of its total imports. Over the past decade, 750,000 Chinese nationals have settled in Africa, while Chinese state-funded cultural centers in rural parts of the continent conduct language classes in Mandarin and Cantonese. As China is predicted to formally emerge as the world’s largest economy in 2016, the recent materialization of plans for a BRICS Bank have the potential to restructure the global financial climate and directly challenge the hegemonic conduct of the International Monetary Fund in Africa’s strategic emerging economies.

China’s deepening economic engagement in Africa and its crucial role in developing the mineral sector, telecommunications industry and much needed infrastructural projects is creating "deep nervousness" in the West, according to David Shinn, the former US ambassador to Burkina Faso and Ethiopia. In a 2011 Department of Defense whitepaper entitled “Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China”, the US acknowledges the maturity of China’s modern hardware and military technology, and the likelihood of Beijing finding hostility with further military alliances between the United States and Taiwan. The document further indicates that “China’s rise as a major international actor is likely to stand out as a defining feature of the strategic landscape of the early 21st century.” Furthermore, the Department of Defense concedes to the uncertainty of how China’s growing capabilities will be administered on the world stage.

Although a US military presence in Africa (under the guise of fighting terrorism and protecting human rights) specifically to counter Chinese regional economic authority may not incite tension in the same way that a US presence in North Korea or Taiwan would, the potential for brinksmanship exists and will persist. China maintains the largest standing army in the world with 2,285,000 personnel and is working to challenge the regional military hegemony of America’s Pacific Century with its expanding naval and conventional capabilities, including an effort to develop the world’s first anti-ship ballistic missile. Furthermore, China has moved to begin testing advanced anti-satellite (ASAT) and Anti Ballistic Missile (ABM) weapons systems in an effort to bring the US-China rivalry into Space warfare.



The further consolidation of US presence in the region is part of a larger program to expand AFRICOM, the United States Africa Command through a proposed archipelago of military bases in the region. In 2007, US State Department advisor Dr. J. Peter Pham offered the following on AFRICOM and its strategic objectives of "protecting access to hydrocarbons and other strategic resources which Africa has in abundance, a task which includes ensuring against the vulnerability of those natural riches and ensuring that no other interested third parties, such as China, India, Japan, or Russia, obtain monopolies or preferential treatment." Additionally, during an AFRICOM Conference held at Fort McNair on February 18, 2008, Vice Admiral Robert T. Moeller openly declared AFRICOM’s guiding principle of protecting “the free flow of natural resources from Africa to the global market,” before citing the increasing presence of China as a major challenge to US interests in the region.

The increased US presence in Central Africa is not simply a measure to secure monopolies on Uganda’s recently discovered oil reserves; Museveni’s legitimacy depends solely on foreign backers and their extensive military aid contributions – US ground forces are not required to obtain valuable oil contracts from Kampala. The push into Africa has more to do with destabilizing the deeply troubled Democratic Republic of the Congo and capturing its strategic reserves of cobalt, tantalum, gold and diamonds. More accurately, the US is poised to employ a scorched-earth policy by creating dangerous war-like conditions in the Congo, prompting the mass exodus of Chinese investors. Similarly to the Libyan conflict, the Chinese returned after the fall of Gaddafi to find a proxy government only willing to do business with the western nations who helped it into power.

As the US uses its influence to nurture the emergence of breakaway states like South Sudan, the activities of Somalia’s al Shabaab, Nigeria’s Boko Haram and larger factions of AQIM in North Africa offer a concrete pretext for further US involvement in regional affairs. The ostensible role of the first African-American US President is to export the theatresque War on Terror directly to the African continent, in a campaign to exploit established tensions along tribal, ethnic and religious lines. As US policy theoreticians such as Dr. Henry Kissinger, willingly proclaim, "Depopulation should be the highest priority of US foreign policy towards the Third World,” the vast expanse of desert and jungles in northern and central Africa will undoubtedly serve as the venue for the next decade of resource wars.



http://nilebowie.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/africom-report-combating-chinese.html

#7
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#8
thank you for reading it. i will try to keep this thread updated with news as it emerges. also would like to provide more information about the Malibya development corporation in a future post... im curious to find out what sort of influence gaddafi's libya exerted on its neighbors, and what effect the revolution/bifurcation into Libya and Cyrenica will have on the future of development in Mali.

anyone who has any good historical background info on the Algerian civil war, AQIM, French Sudan(Mali in the colonial era), or Tuaregs, please feel free to contribute, i think it would help contextualize things.

also: holy shit, pow. i wasnt aware of the SotA-Sanogo connection, that adds a whole new dimension to this.

Edited by bonclay ()

#9
http://www.mbendi.com/indy/ming/gold/af/ml/p0005.htm the gold mines aren't in taureg areas, just in case anyone was wondering
The new iron ore mine is 20km from the capital, in the south west

As for africom, Isn't it something to be desired for African states to get militaries powerful enough so that the state can't be threatened from inside? I know it's worthless if it's just a vehicle for extraction royalties coups, but without a strong enough military to enforce the states existence, it cant ever move ahead as anything but that scary colonial spell raised skeleton that can only mine and raise cash crops. (It was given a pick and a hoe for arms) So isn't it possible that military aid is important in their evolution toward real statehood? I know the doctrine of the soviet union said something along those lines, The National Democratic State and all that. At least, after tons of infrastructure aid resulted in nothing but those coups.
It was like, do land reform, and we'll give you a bunch of tanks and artillery and teach you how to dougie, and industrialize.
Of course they realized that the military could easily take it another way, and so ideological training was really important. I 'm kind of losing my point, I guess I'm just saying that a state needs a military that can be used effectively enough to hold a monopoly on force, or it can't be a state at all.

It's so damn tempting to just take over and take the fruits of extraction for yourself, it really is a massive task to develop these countries into more than accessory economies, and safety is necessary. we need to break this damn world bank hell


babyfinland posted:
if i was a well organized officer corps and i saw a bunch of al qaida nutballs in libya taking power under NATO's permissive gaze i would probably oust a flabby neocolonial government too


Yea yea me too!

#10
bonclay 10.0 best new poster
#11
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#12

blinkandwheeze posted:
bonclay 10.0 best new poster


bonclay is really great. shes my friend. really smart, funny, all that

#13
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#14
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#15
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#16
embrace your inner parrot
#17

GoldenLionTamarin posted:
embrace your inner parrot



embrace your inner parrot

#18
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#19
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#20
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#21
the coup was actually by taylor mali and he is imposing a slam poetry dictatorship
#22
don't fuck up this thread please
#23
bonclay do you have a sense of what the military objectives of the MNLA are? i see stuff in some of the articles you've linked about the MNLA "advancing on" settlements, implying that they're operating like a traditional seize-and-hold army, but it seems unlikely that a primarily tuareg group has decided to abandon their traditional culture and start up a state-building project. you've mentioned the ongoing drought a few times, do you think that the MNLA push south could partly a result of the ecological pressure on tuaregs to free up some of the state space to the south for nomadic pastoralism? like is it more likely that they basically intend to keep the malian state on its heels in the northern part of the country in order to prevent it from excercising direct control over the land, rather than to actually exert state-like control itself?
#24
well, i guess shennong's question has been answered. the mali rebels have advanced on timbuktu, to little resistance. the MNLA's stated goal is the setup of an alternative government that reaches across Azawad, so timbuktu is their final destination. from what i heard, the coup totally crippled the military and government's ability to deal with MNLA, who said they would only negotiate with a "legitimate" government. tuareg soldiers police the streets of cities in the north, most of which weren't even being defended.

MNLA has said that their only goal is the liberation of Azawad and that they will not advance any further south.

one thing i notice is that the strategy of economic aid deprivation pursued by western governments and ECOWAS totally hobbled the ability of the military junta to do anything, a fact which i guess will be spun as a "victory" for liberal interventionism when the "democratic" institutions are restored. i think now that some sort of political arrangement for MNLA is inevitable, i think that azawad will probably gain some measure of autonomy if not statehood.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-17580929

Edited by bonclay ()

#25

blinkandwheeze posted:
bonclay 10.0 best new poster

#26
crosspostin from a pile of crap to here, i think the tone of this is a lil inappropriate for this audience but w/e this is the tact im taking

What is very clear to me about the international response to the coup in Mali is that no one outside the country gives two shits about Mali beyond what gold and investments they can get from Mali. Last week there were about as many articles published about Randgold futures etc as there were about MNLA. This week, ECOWAS is blockading and threatening Mali with a military invasion because the people of Mali snubbed ECOWAS's leadership.

One thing that may not be at the forefront of peoples' minds is that ECOWAS's current president Ouattara recently took power in Cote D'Ivoire after a rigged election turned into a civil war. The internationally backed candidate, Ouattara eventually took control after a French invasion of Cote D'Ivoire to oust his rival. He used to work for the International Monetary Fund, which explains why the West was willing to back his presidency through use of force. Coincidentally, this all happened as it was to become Cote D'Ivoire's turn to take on the rotating presidency of ECOWAS.

The chief political difference between notorious corrupt ousted Malian president Toure (ATT) and the rank-and-file officers who replaced him is their attitude toward international development aid. For decades, Mali has been caught in a debt trap as opportunistic presidents accept billions of dollars in development "aid" (actually loans). Even after having 80% of its public debt forgiven in the last decade, 30% of Mali's government revenue every year goes to servicing debts, prompting further loans. Much of the development aid finds its way into re-election campaigns for ATT and his friends. Simultaneously, national industries are being privatized and basically given away to Western companies; the education system has collapsed; there is a famine across much of Mali; and there is the MNLA.

So the coup occurred not simply to address the northern insurgency as has been reported in the West; rather, the people of Mali overwhelming reject the paradigm of IMF/World Bank "development", which has actually kept Mali underdeveloped. For another example of brilliant IMF development, look next door in Burkina Faso where Blaise Compaore, the man who killed Thomas Sankara, is still president, 25 years later; the country is even worse off than when he took power yet he has the gall to criticize the coup in Mali as a failure of democracy. In ECOWAS, democracy is a con to support the compradors like Compaore, ATT, and Ouattara who sell their countries to the West for personal benefit and their elite class interests.

With that in mind, it is completely typical that Ouattara et al are blockading Mali for threatening their dispicable status quo -- the embargo, border closures, and bank freeze are meant to punish Mali for trying to cast off the yoke.
#27
http://newleftreview.org/II/84/ousmane-sidibe-the-malian-crisis for yalls consideration.
#28
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#29
the secret to rhizzone is to post in new threads but read only really old threads
#30
thanks i was wondering where the mali thread was
#31
my uncle told me how Al Qaeda in the Sahara region are actually just smugglers and ransomers, and if you aren't white and you go up there (ie headed from Mauritania to Morocco or vice versa) you can probably have tea with them or some shit as long as you dint have a lot of money on you, they dont care

Anyways, in tge past year is has become clear that the Americans are eventually gonna bring their wars to the Atlantic coast of North Africa, one of the most emiserated regions of the world.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/checkpoint/wp/2018/03/08/pentagon-adds-niger-mali-and-parts-of-cameroon-to-areas-where-u-s-troops-receive-imminent-danger-pay/?utm_term=.e7e8ded7285b

https://theintercept.com/2017/10/22/the-u-s-will-invade-west-africa-in-2023-after-an-attack-in-new-york-according-to-pentagon-war-game/

Its really hard for me to find news stories in English about French activity in the Maghreb region, especially in Mauritania where like 95% of news is only publishsd locally
#32

cars posted:

the secret to rhizzone is to post in new threads but read only really old threads


#33
Paul Blart Mali Coup
#34

postposting posted:

thanks i was wondering where the mali thread was


#35
WELP,

https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/canada-mali-peacekeeping-mission-general-jonathan-vance-1.4720215
#36
well, i guess shennong's question has been answered
#37
wow i tpyed up this big long shit and when i hit the post button it asked me to log in again and my post, was no more. maybe i'll get back to it tomorrow or someting im p discouraged and tired frankly
#38

ialdabaoth posted:

wow i tpyed up this big long shit and when i hit the post button it asked me to log in again and my post, was no more. maybe i'll get back to it tomorrow or someting im p discouraged and tired frankly


having your login cookie expire the moment before you hit post is like hitting the internet jackpot, congratulations

#39

shennong posted:

bonclay do you have a sense of what the military objectives of the MNLA are? i see stuff in some of the articles you've linked about the MNLA "advancing on" settlements, implying that they're operating like a traditional seize-and-hold army, but it seems unlikely that a primarily tuareg group has decided to abandon their traditional culture and start up a state-building project. you've mentioned the ongoing drought a few times, do you think that the MNLA push south could partly a result of the ecological pressure on tuaregs to free up some of the state space to the south for nomadic pastoralism? like is it more likely that they basically intend to keep the malian state on its heels in the northern part of the country in order to prevent it from excercising direct control over the land, rather than to actually exert state-like control itself?



tuareg society was traditionally regimented into castes; for the most part only the elite castes were nomadic. the bulk of the tuareg population were serfs who maintained settlements between which upper castes would travel, sort of like medieval english nobility. MNLA was primarily composed of upper caste tuaregs who felt their lot in life has substantially diminished since mali's independence. they're not wrong, both in that they are no longer freeranging slavelords and that the federal govt in bamako has severely neglected the north since independence. i think the latter was the primary motivating factor in their rebellion. caste nobles of other ethnic groups are afforded privileges and power by the federal govt that have been denied to tuareg

nomad pastoralism is markedly less common today that it has been in the past, and even in that field tuareg herders run into competition for resources with fula people (also herders but they like cows not camels). there are many, many more fula than tuareg, even in the area that tuaregs separatists were claiming as their own, excepting the far deserty north. nomadic pastoralism still a source of subsistence for many people, even if its economic importance has declined. the encroachment of the sahara does lead to conflict between herders, as well as between herders and farmers and fishers. but this resource conflict as old as time and no one who has money enough for a land rover and a home with air conditioning cares

the real economic potential in the north of mali today is resource extraction, which is still speculative but seems imminent regardless. there's uranium in them hills and there's probably a lot of oil out there too. once global corporations aren't scared of throwing down capital investment due to uncertain political and military climate, they will require a workforce and will be paying the local compradore class out the ass for compliance. who will these shills be? folks from the south with government connections will probably be the answer if local assholes don't secure the opportunity for themselves.

regarding urban areas and the potenital industrial workforces therein, kidal is the largest majority tuareg city in north mali, but it has a mere fraction of the population of gao and timbuktu which are ethinically dominated by songhay

for decades the federal govt has favored funding personall corruption instead of high tech military supplies like idk bullets, food, and gas. MNLA would have had no chance of securing any territory with mentionable habitation otherwise; it's real easy to kill a lot of soldiers from bamako when they are starving, have no ammunition, and can't hardly go nowhere. this neglect of the military then led to the collapse of the malian state. the majority of the population centers in north mali were opposed to MNLA and independence but were too busy staying alive and being poor to be able to affect the situation. nevermind that the real weight behind MNLA's military power came from their one-time allies: the various salafi groups staffed with foreigners with lots of guns and gulf money, and kids lured by the mention of any sort of pay. as soon as MNLA completed their standard national liberation tasks of securing territory and declaring independence, they were told to go home at gunpoint

somehwere in this mess, fula revanchists launched their own salafi-branded militia before merging back into the AQIM / ansar dine / al morabitun set. this is why attacks have moved closer to the south over the last few years. fula are p much everywhere but they did used to have their own empire in central mali and they are disliked by most sedentary peoples due to same-old resource conflicts. and also history of slave raiding which you will definitely hear a lot about if you tactlessly ask p much any bambara, bozo, malinke etc over three cups of tea. anyway there's a lot of pissed off fula teenagers with v few economic prospects and a lot of grudge

predictabbly, the junta in bamako quickly succombed to economic and military threats by the regional compradore organization ECOWAS. the new federal government then availed itself of the suddenly proffered international military aid and resumed its little death spiral of debt with the IMF et al. foreign troops removed AQIM and friends from the major cities and built huge military bases that could potentailly be used to "project force" across west africa. and there we are five years later

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AQIM/Al-Murabitun occasionally cross over the border and get into fire fights with Mauritanian security forces and take their shit. In Mauritania AQ is usually just means a smuggler or ransomer with loose affiliations across the border. The politics surrounding Amazigh (Berbers like the Tuareg) autonomy is something I know very little about, beyond some stuff about the Polisario, but I'm very interested in it. I met a few Berber nomads somewhere between Nouakchott and Rosso but I couldn't distinguish between them and other bidhan Mauritanians since they all speak hassaniya these days. Most live in abject poverty amd I hear lots of the ones in Mauritania are migrating or failed migrants since there isn't much for them in Nouakchott and every year is becoming tougher for rural and nomadic peoples, and its a wonder AQ didnt take hold much earlier. When Europe's fascists inevitably get the vote and start seriously closing its borders to all of the climate, war and economic refugees migrating North, they will coalesce in North African slums in even greater numbers than now and some will find these various movements appealing.

I had no clue that Pulaar and Wolof were Fula languages, they're spoken among the "l'kwar" non-Arabized Africans in Mauritania. The other main language is Soninke, which I think is Senegalese in origin.

If you can point me to something about the French role in all of this I would really appreciate it.

Edited by Caesura109 ()

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