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  #286  
Old 6 Nov 2011
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Is this new news? Will there be a build up of security forces in the region to oversee the project?

Algeria's Sonatrach vows Mali oil drilling by mid 2012 | News by Country | Reuters
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  #287  
Old 8 Nov 2011
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Who provides security in the Taoudenni basin? Are there any Malian military in the region?

Mauretanian Aqim member arrested in Niger
Niger: Militant with 'ties to killers' of French engineer arrested - Adnkronos Security
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  #288  
Old 8 Nov 2011
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I do not think there are military in Taoudenni. The Mali military wanted to charge a colleague of mine about 30K euros for a military escort to the salt mine there.
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  #289  
Old 8 Nov 2011
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Chinese oil companies also moving in, promising to find Mali's first producing wells shortly
RECHERCHES PETROLIERES: Petroplus Angola promet du pétrole aux Maliens | L'AUBE
There's gold up there, too - but no military? What is ATT thinking?

French arms deals with ten African countries, including Mali, Mauretania, Niger
http://af.reuters.com/article/maurit...7LQ3DA20111026

Last edited by priffe; 9 Nov 2011 at 07:10.
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  #290  
Old 9 Nov 2011
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14 dead as Niger clashes with convoy from Libya | News by Country | Reuters
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  #291  
Old 9 Nov 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by priffe View Post
There's gold up there, too - but no military? What is ATT thinking?
I think we have the answer in the contracts that were signed between the Malian and Algerian presidents for oil drilling in Taoudenni.
Algeria is seizing the moment and is planning to expand their interests in the region. They will fill the vacuum left by Khadaffi's departure. The winners will be the touaregs - and in return, they will promise not to start another rebellion. The loosers: Aqim
Algeria eyes investment in northern Mali (Magharebia.com)
"It would be illogical that Algeria venture to invest in the less secure part of the basin, which links Mali, Algeria and Mauritania, without having first established a plan to deal with these challenges," he added.

According to regional analyst Hammadi Ag Ali, the security concerns are exaggerated.

"These are unjustified fears because Touaregs in the end are a group of people who have specific demands, some of which are related to a desire to secede, while others are related to demands for more development," he explained. "If we assume that the group demanding separation is dominating the scene, then there must be some sort of a rear support after the fall of Kadhafi. That support will certainly be the Algerian state."

"Algeria will venture to invest its money in the Taoudeni basin only after it gets guarantees from the actors in that area, who are primarily the Touaregs," he continued. "As for al-Qaeda, their threat will decrease as Touaregs' influence increases because the latter will tighten the noose on them if they threaten their interests."

I found this most interesting. Let's see how it pans out. Niger may be another story entirely - or not. Perhaps they will make a similar deal.
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  #292  
Old 9 Nov 2011
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Re: Niger

Another version of the Niger raid here: less dramatic casualty figures:
Niger military clashes with Libya group| News24

and according to this, Saif is assumed to have made it to Mali:
ICC: Gaddafi son will be arrested| News24
so the above raid may not have been connected.


As for Taoudenni, it's going to be a very long pipeline to somewhere.

Quote:
... If we assume that the group demanding separation [Tuareg] is dominating the scene...
Often said but I'm not convinced it is, especially regards controlling regional contrabanding. But as always the Berabich commercants of Timbuktu manage to slip below the radar...

Ch

PS: Interesting document from 2006 on Taoudenni Basin oil reserves.

Last edited by Chris Scott; 18 Nov 2011 at 10:34.
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  #293  
Old 10 Nov 2011
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MBM gives interview; says he is one of the main benificiaries of the 'Arab Spring'
AFP: Al-Qaeda's North Africa branch says got Libya weapons
'"As for our acquisition of Libyan armament, that is an absolutely natural thing," he said, without elaborating on the nature of the weapons purportedly acquired.'
Surface-to-air missiles said to be included.
Interview exclusive de khaled Abou Al Abbass, alias Bellawar.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/...684af2b5bb7652

Last edited by priffe; 10 Nov 2011 at 17:37.
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  #294  
Old 10 Nov 2011
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Ennahar Online - A French secret agent worked with Al Qaeda to share ransoms
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  #295  
Old 10 Nov 2011
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Ennahar Online - 35 Libyans arrested and an arsenal of weapons seized in Djanet
"the operation occurred yesterday morning at 320 km east of Djanet, near Ain Ezzen on the border with Niger and Libya" - 320 kms east of Djanet would be in Libya proper, I think? Must have been right where Algeria-Libya-Niger meet. Ain Ezzen isn't on my map.
That's what you get for cutting a corner.
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  #296  
Old 10 Nov 2011
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In Ezzane is about 240 km SE of Djanet - near the triple point of Libya, Niger and Algeria but within Algeria. I expect that the interception happened near the SW exit of Libya. They were probably skirting the NW part of the Djado plateau into Niger or far SE Algeria. You need a GPS to know which country you're actually in there. I drove down that way to Niger from Djanet some time ago. It is vast and empty.
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  #297  
Old 10 Nov 2011
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Sounds like gun-running rush hour out in the Tenere these days.

I suppose Tumu is too obvious at the moment so they may have slipped down the right side of Akakus (left of Messak and Murzuk Erg) past Col d'Anai (the border) and from there its only a couple of hours across Algeria into Niger. But the Algies were on it.

In Ezzane is an 'unfriendly [Alg] army base' I've heard. Always wanted to explore that tri-border area. Google puts the well here, the base may be this? - there are tracks in the oued just to the NW.

You can kill hours on Google sat... Have a look at Tumu and follow the sandy track east, from where the tarmac ends past various compounds. Heaps of stuff lying around in neat piles - oil drums? Found this great image too of the airport there (west of the road, crosses the border) - a lot of PSP!

Ch
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  #298  
Old 14 Nov 2011
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Now the malians desperately want their own oil (imports amount to 27% of the total) wonder what arrangements they've made with Bamako. Will that change now? Touareg situation is at the heart of it
This Feb 2010 wikicable offers some insight into the relationship between Algiers and Bamako.
Cable Viewer
from the US embassy Bamako. GOM = Government Of Mali

"Algerian ambassador Ayadi said Algeria's
and Mali's fate were tied together by history and geography.
Unfortunately, the two countries have a very different
approach to dealing with the threat of AQIM, which has
installed itself in the North of Mali, and has proven itself
capable of doing a lot of harm not only in the region but
internationally. The GOM is not living up to its
international obligations with respect to countering
terrorism and has displayed a fair degree of laxity, if not
to say complicity in dealing with the terrorists. ...
He said paying ransom
will only make citizens of the ransom-paying nations targets
of future hostage taking attempts. If they stay out of the
North, the terrorists will only come down to Bamako to snatch
them. ...
Ayadi said that when one's house is on fire, one
does not wait for the fire truck to do something. The GOM is
not operating in good faith. The summit is not a
pre-condition to action. We do not have the impression that
the GOM thinks of AQIM as the enemy. He said the release of
the information he was about to relate had not been cleared
by Algiers: the Algerian army had attempted to conduct an
operation against AQIM with the Malians on Malian soil, but
AQIM had been tipped off in advance and moved out of range.
He said that several months ago, Algeria had formally
requested the extradition of two high level detainees, but
the GOM responded that they were not in their custody. ....
Ayadi claimed that the Malian Army had shown
capability to take action against the Tuareg rebellion but
refuse to do anything about AQIM. Niger has fewer resources
but does more in the fight, and the proof is that AQIM has
been unable to establish a base in that country. It looks
worse than weakness on the part of the Malians, it looks like
willful complicity. ....
As it is easier, and feels more virtuous, to list problems than work toward
solutions, it seems likely that efforts to bring Mali and
Algeria closer to fight AQIM, though necessary, will continue
to be a very uphill battle. "

Last edited by priffe; 17 Nov 2011 at 19:06.
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  #299  
Old 17 Nov 2011
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ALGERIA - Sonatrach returns to Taoudeni region - Maghreb Confidential
Sonatrach returns to Taoudeni region
"There’s been an improvement in the business climate between Mali and Algeria. With a delegation from the Garde Nationale Algerienne headed by colonel Moustapha Salmi currently spending a week in Mali to tighten security on the border between the two countries, Sonatrach is about to resume exploration on Mali’s side of the Taoudeni basin. SIPEX, an affiliate of Algeria’s national oil company, penned an agreement in Bamako in February, 2007, to explore and produce oil on block 20 in the basin. In 2009, it conducted a seismic campaign that reportedly came up with promising results but security problems in the region (where Al Qaida in Arab Maghreb operates) led the subsidiary to rein in operations.

In addition, to avoid having to meet its drilling commitments on its other concessions in the basin, Sonatrach handed back almost all of blocks 1,2,3,4 and 9 to the government, in conjunction with its partners ENI and Baraka Petroleum.

The fresh start to work on the Taoudeni comes on the heels of a visit to Algiers by Mali president Amadou Toumani Toure in October."

They can seal that border all they like, but will they operate inside Mali? If not, who will?
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  #300  
Old 24 Nov 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave The Hat View Post
Has anybody seen any articles about the Brit and Italian kidnapped in Northern Nigeria recently? Did AQIM or Boko Haram admit any involvement? This story seems to have gone quiet.
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