the tragedy of mali
according to the article, one of the rebel groups has switched sides to fight for the french? early in the rebellion french diplomat alaine jueppe (forgive my spelling) outraged the malian government officials by suggesting mali recognize the 'new state' of 'azawad' --it was pointed out back then that the websites for a 'free and independent azawad' were originating from european capitals--including paris. reports had also surfaced that french mining interests had quietly supported an 'azawad' separate state since the 1960 malian independence. more recent oil, gold, diamonds and uranium estimates in northern mali are reported to be much larger than previously believed.
the article also raises the important question of why no one, the french and european nations, the Un, the Eu, the african Union, the heads of state of african nations, or the Us REALLY stood up to captain sonogo and said we will not allow a mere captain to overthrow a democratically elected government and ESPECIALLY when the elected president was respecting constitutional term limits and was preparing to step down in four weeks when elections were scheduled.
this article again points out the connections between the Us and algeria.
"the French scored a major diplomatic success by persuading the Algerian government to allow French jet bombers to fly into northern Mali through Algerian airspace. The Americans, who are the largest purchasers of Algerian oil, are believed to have assisted the French in their negotiations with the Algerians."
the islamist jihadi uprising in algeria and their defeat by algerian military with material support from the Us military and Cia drove surviving jihadis south into the sahel region of neighboring countries, including mali. these algerian jihadis were a core that merged with members of libyan islamic fighting group to form Al qaeda in the islamic magreb aka Aqim. but Aqim was recognized in name only by bin laden and company and it has been reported that algerian jihadis were NEVER really trusted by bin laden because it was believed they had been thoroughly penetrated by algerian military intelligence working with Us cia--and this penetration was in part reason for the defeat of the islamic jihadi movement in algeria.
meanwhile in the sahel and sahara desert, Aqim jihadis formed alliances with tuareg bands of smugglers and traffickers giving Aqim access to old ancient desert smuggling routes and cave hideouts from which Aqim then made big money at kidnapping foreigner tourists, along with drug, cigarette and arms trafficking. this is how Aqim jihadi leader muktar bel muktar got his nickname, "the marlboro man", smuggling cigarettes across the desert and into italy.
again it must be reminded that pentagon's Africom command was formed and funded with 500 million from Us congress SPECIFICALLY to prevent Aqim from doing exactly what it did in pulling off a territory grab in northern africa. while this al qaeda land grab was going on in north africa, the well funded and trained africom with all of its region military agreements in place with ALL of the nations and militaries of the western sahel region--did absolutely nothing.