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.
Edited by bonclay ()
bonclay 10.0 best new poster
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.
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.
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
the secret to rhizzone is to post in new threads but read only really old threads
thanks i was wondering where the mali thread was
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
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
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 ()