Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Regional Forums > Sahara Travel Forum

Sahara Travel Forum Topics specific to North Africa and the Sahara down to the 17th parallel (excludes Morocco)
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

Desert Travels - Motorcycle Journeys in the Sahara and West Africa!

Like Tree29Likes

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #421  
Old 16 Jan 2013
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Lj, Slovenia
Posts: 72
More news:

The French army is ready to land a major clash with rebels in Mali. Soldiers were eliminated today from the capital city of Bamako towards Diabaly, which lies approximately 350 kilometers north and taken in Monday by the Islamists, reported BBC.

The convoy, which is designed to Diabaly is about 30 armored vehicles. The French army is attacking rebel positions till now from the air. Land beginning operations was confirmed by the Chief of the French army, Admiral Edouard Guillaud. "In the coming hours - but I can not say whether this will be only one hour or 72 hours - we will deal with them directly," he told for radio Europe 1st.
Reply With Quote
  #422  
Old 16 Jan 2013
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: France
Posts: 87
French travellers here in Rabat, heading for Mali/B-Faso are VERY nervous. French motorhomes seem to trundling around in big convoys.
Reply With Quote
  #423  
Old 17 Jan 2013
Moderator
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Oxford, U.K.
Posts: 591
For details on the In Amenas event in January 2013, please see this thread:
http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...r-amenas-68346

Last edited by Richard Washington; 2 Feb 2013 at 11:06.
Reply With Quote
  #424  
Old 21 Jan 2013
Moderator
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Oxford, U.K.
Posts: 591
It is still early days in the unpicking of events at In Amenas but already this must go down as the most extreme episode in the Sahara for many years, if not decades. There will surely be severe restrictions on access to the Algerian desert and for a long time.


Given the change in tactics from AQIM, it is difficult to know exactly what to expect next from the perspective of Saharan travel. If AQIM thought they would be able to take dozens of hostages away and blow up the gas plant, then they seriously misjudged things. Recall, though, that Algeria appeared to allow AQIM (as they were later called) to transit the Algerian desert to N.Mali with some 17 hostages back in 2003. If they were expecting the same again in In Amenas, then it seems unlikely they would bring along those explosive belts and gear up for the protracted sit-in. If AQIM planned on a one-way ticket, then they would have known ahead of time that they would lose all hands. The question then becomes who can bear the greatest losses: oil companies/Algerian state Vs AQIM. AQIM I would have thought given the perspective of martyrdom. This, along with the fact that AQIM cannot realistically take on France in a conventional war, means that we should expect more attacks along these lines. In Anemas will force France to firm up its resolve in Mali. French action in Mali will force AQIM to respond with more such episodes. Its a horrible feedback loop.



Why In Amenas? A simple answer is that it is 25 km from the Libyan border, which was their planned entrance and exit(?) point. 'Liberated' Libya is sufficiently lawless not to be able to respond. But some reports say AQIM arrived into In Amenas from N Mali and did not transit Libya. It is far shorter that way (N.Mali - Algeria direct). NATO would prefer us to think Libya played no part - it makes them all feel better about the mess that has been made in Libya. One thing that can't be denied, the weaponry derived from the Libyan mess. Probably some of the recruits too.
Reply With Quote
  #425  
Old 21 Jan 2013
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: London (UK)
Posts: 772
Considering what David Cameron has just told the MPs:

"We will contribute British intelligence and counter-terrorism assets to an international effort to find and dismantle the network that planned and ordered the brutal assault at In Amenas. We must work right across the region"

It is not just Algeria but almost all of the Sahara that will soon be too dangerous for bona fide travellers carrying a British passport.
__________________
Roman (UK)
www.overlandcruiser.com
Reply With Quote
  #426  
Old 22 Jan 2013
Moderator
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Oxford, U.K.
Posts: 591
And to expand Roman's thinking further, its not just British. What have the Japanese and Romanians done to AQIM to deserve the treatment they got at In Amenas?
Reply With Quote
  #427  
Old 22 Jan 2013
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: London (UK)
Posts: 772
Apart from the tragic loss of lives in Algeria, I suspect it is going to affect us in many different ways across the whole region.

We have grown used to the friendly disposition of local people who saw tourists in the Sahara as a source of income, worth protecting as a kind of business asset. Now, any tourist can be suspected of being an "intelligence and counter-terrorism asset" of this or another government. Attitudes will harden, movement wil be severely restricted, and a chance meeting with smugglers' scouting patol (we once had near the Libyan border) is now less likely to end up with a friendly pat on the shoulder.
__________________
Roman (UK)
www.overlandcruiser.com
Reply With Quote
  #428  
Old 22 Jan 2013
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Sweden
Posts: 967
I am slightly less pessimistic since Aqim is now for the first time being attacked on a great scale, the way it should have been done years ago, pre-Libya, when the problem would have been more manageable.
The events at In Amenas only serve to deepen the resolve and also hushing all potential critics of the French operation in Mali.
It took the rebellion AND the coup d'etat to make this possible.

Most reports from Mali say that jihadists are on the run and that the population are positive to the French, the Tricolor flying next to the Malian flag in many villages - a most surprising development, unthinkable not long ago. Refugees already start to return.

French troops stop al-Qaeda group in its tracks in Mali - Telegraph

There is little or no local support for the bearded guys, even less after their heavy-handed attempt at laying strict sharia on the population - they should by now be fiercely against those pakistani imams the saudis have been sending their way for many years. And recruiting should become harder.
I hope Qatar is meeting high-level resistance in their scheme to support the jihadis.
With a large but limited number of vehicles, arms and martyrs available, how long will Aqim last?
Why did the beards leave TB2 and Gao? Many said the problem with this war would be fighting in city streets and the unavoidable collateral damage, but Mujao and Aqim seem to have solved that problem by leaving voluntarily.

We are all targets now. I am often thinking of the Swedish biker who was just spending a day or two in TB2 fourteen months ago on his way across the continent. It could happen to anyone.
Reply With Quote
  #429  
Old 22 Jan 2013
Super Moderator
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 3,113
I agree with pf. The situation Roman describes largely existed (or could have) long before In Amenas. And encounters with smugglers are always initially to be feared - usually by both parties.

It may take a while but at least the long awaited pushback has begun - given extra impetus by In Amenas. The problem of course will be keep them out of north Mali - a tall order. In the old days I imagine the Kel Ifoghas quietly got on business via Ikhalil. Now it's become rather a lucrative route/region.

Quote:
Why did the beards leave TB2 and Gao?
I was wondering that too - seems as suicidal as In Amenas. Did they did not anticipate the French response? The old govt is long gone. (This article makes the former links clear).

I have seen no mention of the ~10 hostages still up there. That could be their final gambit I suppose, when the time comes.

Added a few days later:
http://www.france24.com/en/20130201-...n-human-shield

Ch

Last edited by Chris Scott; 2 Feb 2013 at 13:01. Reason: added link
Reply With Quote
  #430  
Old 22 Jan 2013
Moderator
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Oxford, U.K.
Posts: 591
I think the analysis above by Chris Scott and Priffe makes a great deal of sense. It is better than a lot of the stuff you read in the media at the moment which is, I suppose, quite natural as last week those guys were reporting on and writing about Iraq or Syria and have had a week to learn what we have been following here, in the Sahara, for years.

I do have one point of departure which stems from Priffe's points:
"The events at In Amenas only serve to deepen the resolve".
This I agree with.
and
"There is little or no local support for the bearded guys, even less after their heavy-handed attempt at laying strict sharia on the population - they should by now be fiercely against those pakistani imams the saudis have been sending their way for many years. And recruiting should become harder. "
Which I also agree with.
and
"Aqim is now for the first time being attacked on a great scale"
which again I agree with.


All these observations make it clear that AQIM is under stress for the first time. It is also for the first time that they have done something on the scale of the events in In Amenas. In my mind the two (AQIM under stress and radical response in attacking In Amenas) are connected. It is as though AQIM know their options are narrowed with airstrikes now aimed at them. They can't fly their own airforce in response. But they can up the stakes and do things like the In Amenas attack. So there is cause and effect going on here. While AQIM is being dealt blows for the first time since 2003, they are also lashing back in a more desperate way. We can expect an escalation as part of this process. In that sense I think Roman's pessimism might have a case. If so, let's hope it is very much time-bound.
Reply With Quote
  #431  
Old 23 Jan 2013
Moderator
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Oxford, U.K.
Posts: 591
Quote:
Originally Posted by priffe View Post
I
There is little or no local support for the bearded guys, even less after their heavy-handed attempt at laying strict sharia on the population
I heard yesterday that they banned music. In Mali.........
Reply With Quote
  #432  
Old 24 Jan 2013
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Sweden
Posts: 967
Someone else is the optimist, too...
Al-Qaeda's grip on Mali will be broken, thanks to the errors of terrorists – Telegraph Blogs
Hubris precedes a fall

Here's a post using common reason why Jeremy Keenan and others believing the algerian secret service are running everything are wrong https://vivalalgerie.wordpress.com/2...he-drs-really/

Last edited by priffe; 29 Jan 2013 at 10:46.
Reply With Quote
  #433  
Old 29 Jan 2013
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Posts: 657
Drones?

Perhaps this article provides valuable additional considerations toward understanding another point of view...

[url=http://www.prisonplanet.com/here-come-the-drones-or-the-true-reason-for-the-mali-incursion.html]Prison Planet.com
Reply With Quote
  #434  
Old 30 Jan 2013
Contributing Vendor
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Budapest, Hungary
Posts: 290
xfiltrate

Can you please add a [/url] tag at the end of your post to make our lives a bit easier...
__________________
Happy Travels, András
http://www.fjexpeditions.com
Reply With Quote
  #435  
Old 30 Jan 2013
autonomy's Avatar
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: roaming
Posts: 36
As usual the moor has done a good synthesis of Jihadi opinion on Mali as appearing on internet forums. Its a good read.

There is an emerging narrative that depicts France and her allies as Crusaders

There is a call out to support the Mali elements with parallels to Afghanistan

And a call out to expand the conflict

Early Perspectives on the Mali Crisis from a Jihadist Forum (II) | The Moor Next Door
__________________
www.wanderingoverland.com
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 3 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 3 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Adventure Travel Film Festival Australia - Bright Vic 24-26 Feb 2012 Adventure Travel Film Festival Australia HU Travellers Meetings - Australia 23 28 Nov 2012 06:04
2012 Inspirational Travel Literature Awards - Nominate now mattcbf600 The HUBB PUB 2 15 Feb 2012 15:49
Sahara - XT500 - 1982 Chris Scott Ride Tales 6 22 Nov 2011 14:03
Global Giving Field visitor as you travel jcravens Make a Difference 0 11 Nov 2011 20:53

 
 


HU DVD Summer Special!

Now that summer is here, get On the Road! Take 30% off the Achievable Dream - On the Road! 2-DVD set until August 31 only. Get On the Road! Learn the tips to staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure!

Our veteran travellers share their tips (and great stories) for staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure.

"A fantastic, informative and inspirational DVD."

"It's brilliant - thank you very much!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'ONTHEROAD' on your order when you checkout.


Renedian Adventures


Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!


What turns you on to motorcycle travel?


Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!


New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.


Books & DVDs

amazon

All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.


Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!




All times are GMT +1. The time now is 23:49.