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  #1  
Old 30 Sep 2007
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What is really happening in the Sahara?

Hi Everyone,

I thought you may be interested in some more information about this Summer's unrest in the Sahara:

http://wahdah.blogspot.com/2007/08/flintlock-07.html
-Reuters report clarifying that Tuareg rebellions have no connexion with Islamist movements:
http://africa.reuters.com/metals/news/usnL23592459.html

-Reuters report about Tuareg rebels went to Algeria after Malian army fought back with overwhelming power:
http://africa.reuters.com/wire/news/usnL27910462.html

-Interesting analysis about "Flintlock 2007" a multilateral military excercise held in Bamako (Mali) this Summer just weeks before the stand-up of the US Army's new Africa Command (AFRICOM) as a subordinate command of the European Command (EUCOM):
http://www.defenddemocracy.org/in_th...?doc_id=522349

-More reports about "Flintlock 2007" in Bamako (Mali):

-From the US embassy in Mali:
http://mali.usembassy.gov/pcv_swearing-in.html
-From the US Department of Defence:
http://www.defenselink.mil/photoessa...?page=1&id=431
-Blog about the exercises containing an old ABC News report showing Green berets training alongside Algerian elite troops in Tamanrasset:
http://wahdah.blogspot.com/2007/08/flintlock-07.html

Any news welcome

Best

Alberto
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Old 1 Oct 2007
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Alberto, thanks for posting this.
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Old 1 Oct 2007
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....and from me too. Thanks Alberto
Chris
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Old 1 Oct 2007
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Wink Pan-African things going on

It is not really a subject for the Sahara as such, more an issue for the whole of Africa (and any other nation or region of the world that wants to get involved because the AU cannot handle it!).

It is not just the US that has an interest in the continent. France has always had a presence in and around its ex-colonies, quietly getting on with protecting their national interests.
Germany is quite proud of the fact that it is leading NATO support in the CAR (I believe - that's where they were last time I took any notice of them, the Germans; I can't really be bothered to look for an update on what Germany is doing).

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7022193.stm
So, there you have it; any nation with Western-type standards that can help to sort out the mess occurring within those nations that cannot control their own borders or internal problems (anyone willing to help the UK in this regard?!) can pitch up and lend a hand - I feel sure that the USA would welcome any help in their current role as the worlds policeman.

ps If you really find the actions of Western nations in Africa alarming, give some thought to what China is doing.
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Old 1 Oct 2007
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A blurb about Niger appeared recently in the Economist...

Niger | A radioactive rebellion | Economist.com

Having crossed that area into Algeria in February 2007....I'm really sad to read this, as the Tuareg people will face the economic hit, and fellow HUBBers will miss out on a spectacular area...landscape and people wise...
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Old 1 Oct 2007
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What is really happening in the Sahara?

Thank you all for your thoughts and info about the
current situation in the Sahara!!!

I found the blurb in The Economist very concise and enlightening. As a community who are especially interested in the Sahara and its peoples we cannot ignore the underlying cultural, political and social issues of the area.

Keep on sending more info!!!

Best

Alberto
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Old 2 Oct 2007
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A synthetic topic about MAli (and Niger)

Read in "Le Monde" :

"Bamako suspend l'offensive militaire prévue contre les rebelles touaregs dans le nord du Mali
Article paru dans l'édition du 20.09.07
Une « mission d'apaisement » est parvenue à une trêve, après les affrontements qui ont fait huit morts. Au Niger, les tensions persistent entre les tribus et le pouvoir central




a paix a repris ses droits dans le nord du Mali. L'armée, qui mettait la dernière main à une offensive militaire contre les rebelles touaregs, a décidé de la suspendre. « Nous avons donné des consignes très strictes à nos unités dans le Nord de ne pas bouger. Nous sommes dans un processus de paix. Nous n'attaquerons pas », a confirmé, dans la nuit du mardi 18 au mercredi 19 septembre, un officier supérieur interrogé par l'Agence France-Presse.

Le changement d'attitude des responsables maliens fait suite à l'annonce, quelques heures auparavant, d'une « trêve » par le chef des rebelles touaregs, Ibrahim Ag Bahanga, et de la libération prochaine des quelque 30 otages - civils et militaires - encore entre les mains de ses hommes dans l'extrême nord du pays, non loin de la frontière algérienne. Dimanche, des affrontements entre l'armée et les Touaregs avaient fait 8 morts.

La trêve est le résultat de la « mission d'apaisement » menée en début de semaine par des notables touaregs (eux-mêmes anciens rebelles) auprès d'Ibrahim Ag Bahanga, qu'ils ont rencontré dans son fief.

Cette médiation a porté ses fruits alors que les rebelles n'ont jamais indiqué précisément quelles étaient leurs revendications. A en croire les autorités maliennes, ce sont celles de trafiquants de drogue qui souhaitent le démantèlement des postes frontières avec l'Algérie.

Au Niger, frontalier du Mali, où d'autres tribus touarègues sont également en rébellion contre le pouvoir central, la situation est plus inquiétante même si le ramadan a gelé les opérations. L'armée a déployé quelque 4 000 hommes dans le nord d'Agadez, fait l'acquisition de plusieurs hélicoptères de combat russes, et embauché des équipages de l'ancienne Union soviétique pour les piloter et venir à bout des hommes du Mouvement des Nigériens pour la justice (MNJ).

Il s'agit d'une organisation très structurée, solidement armée, et équipée de moyens de transmission et de déplacement modernes. Le MNJ a fait la preuve de son efficacité. Depuis le début de l'année une cinquantaine de soldats nigériens ont été tués au cours des combats et des douzaines d'autres sont entre les mains des rebelles.

Les revendications portent, comme lors des conflits précédents, sur un meilleur partage des richesses, en particulier celles tirées de l'exploitation de l'uranium dans le Nord, par le groupe français Areva.

La France, l'ancienne puissance coloniale, est impliquée dans ce conflit qui touche l'un des pays les plus pauvres du continent africain. L'entourage du président Mamadou Tandja soupçonne Paris de soutenir la rébellion touarègue. Réunissant quelques centaines de personnes, une manifestation a d'ailleurs eu lieu le 15 septembre à Niamey, la capitale, dirigée contre Areva et la Libye, accusée de vouloir annexer une portion du territoire nigérien.

Jean-Pierre Tuquoi "
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