West Africa’s poverty stricken but mineral rich former French colony of Mali has been in the limelight since early last month.
Political crisis in Mali was triggered since January 2012 when the people in the north, Tuaregs, staged an armed conflict and declared a separate state .It was purely an internal affair .Many political leaders in the
region, especially from neighboring Mauritania, suggested that this crisis could and should be sorted out peacefully rather than military intervention which could destabilize the region.
Instead France entered Mali under the guise of fighting Islamists and started raining death and destruction as it had done in Libya. However people warned that Mali will be worse than Afghanistan for French led invaders.
Mali is a land locked country surrounded by Algeria, Niger, Burkina Faso, Coted’Ivoire, Guinea, Senegal and Mauritania .It has a population of 14.5 million of which more than 90 percent are Muslims .Its land area is 1,240,000 square kilometers.
The north of Mali stretches to Sahara desert while the south, blessed with Niger and Senegal rivers, remains fertile .It is in the south that bulk of the people live on agriculture and fisheries. Though rich in gold and uranium and third largest producer of gold in Africa half of Mali’s population live below the poverty line of US dollar 1.25 per day.
Mali has been a one party rule for long until the 1991 coup which brought a new constitution. Since then Mali has been one of very few functioning democracies in Africa.
However people in the north,Tuaregs, were a neglected and ethnically marginalized lot. They tried to establish a separate independent state of their own, but failed. During the time of ousted dictator Mohammed Gaddafi Tuaregs were employed in the armed forces of Libya. The remittance from them played a crucial in keeping the body and soul together for thousands of Tuareg families.
The problem started with the peoples uprising in Libya during which France played a decisive role in ousting Libyan’s Dictator Muammar Gaddafi and toppled his regime. Former French President Nicola Sarkozy wanted his secret service to eliminate Muammar Gaddafi at any cost to ensure his shady deals do not come to limelight.
Tuaregs in the Libyan armed forces started leaving the country as rebel forces considered them mercenaries and started killing them. They returned home with their arms and training. It was this group which staged an armed conflict in January 2012 and established their separate state in the North of Mali called Azawad.
Three months later chaos broke out after President Amadou Toumani Toure was toppled in a military coup on March 22, 2012. In the wake of the coup the Ansar Dine fighters fought back, pushed Tuaregs aside and took control of the region. The swiftness of the military success of Ansar Dine alarmed the west specially France which wanted to crush them at any cost and maintain its influence in the region.
Thus France launched war on Mali on 11 January 2013 to prevent the risen of Islam and plunder Mali’s natural resources.
The United States, Canada, Britain, Belgium, Germany, and Denmark declared their support to the French war in Mali. Russia also provided assistance to France. In the midst France also dragged in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Qatar changing the entire dimension of this conflict.
The US controlled United Nations Security Council which has become licensing authority for US-European invasion of Muslim countries voted unanimously on 12 October 2012 in favor of a French-drafted resolution asking Mali’s government to draw up plans for a military mission to re-establish control over the northern part of Mali.
British columnist Owen Jones wrote that “When the UN Security Council unanimously paved the way for military force to be used, experts made clear warnings that must still be listened to. The International Crisis Group urged for diplomatic solution to restore stability, arguing that intervention could exacerbate a growing inter-ethnic conflict.
Amnesty warned that “an international armed intervention is likely to increase the scale of human-rights violations we are already seeing in this conflict”. Paul Rogers, professor of peace studies at Bradford University, argued that past wars show that “once started, they can take alarming directions, have very destructive results, and often enhance the very movements they are designed to counter”.
However all these warnings were dismissed by France and its partners in their drive to implement their well-planned military designs on resource rich Muslim countries in the region.
As usual the Western media failed to provide a clear picture of the unfolding events. However columnist David S. J. Borelli, said this is one of the lesser-known but most crucial conspiracies being hatched to plunder resources in the heart of Africa.
There is a wide consensus among neighboring Mauritanians, regardless of political leanings, against French involvement in Mali, which many view as a return to colonialism. This sentiment found expression in a fatwa, or religious edict, issued by 39 clerics and imams forbidding the Mauritanian government and people from cooperating with the invading countries.
Most of the country’s political parties agree with the clergy’s position and one of ruling party’s leading members, Mohammad Ould Mham, denounced the French war, saying that it would have been better for Paris “to gather all the Malian parties around the negotiating table – only dialogue can avert a war in Mali and the region.”
The Mauritanian Party of Union and Change claimed that it was French colonialism that created the problem in northern Mali in the first place and now it has returned to ignite a war, the consequences of which no one can predict.
Egypt’s President Mohamed Mursi warned that the military intervention could “fuel conflict in the region” and would lead to a new humanitarian tragedy.”
However oil rich Gulf states were dragged into the military conflict.
During a visit to Abu Dhabi this month French President Francois Hollande said that United Arab Emirates are fully behind the French military intervention in Mali, and pledged ''their full support, including humanitarian, material and financial aid.
However in Kuwait demonstrators gathered outside the embassy, carried banners calling on France to end its war against the people of Mali. They condemned "the bloodshed of Muslims" in the West African country and urged Gulf rulers not to support the French offensive.
A report in the website Khalifah .com stated that from the very start of this military campaign there were reports of killing civilians and children by the French war machine which includes air bombardment and ground invasion. The French President Francois Hollande has stated clearly during his visit to Gulf States that he will not permit the establishment of an Islamic State in Mali. What is most disgusting is the support that Muslim rulers in the Gulf have given to France and its allies to help destroy Mali and its people.
Dealing with the unfolding humanitarian crisis the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) stated that it has received reports of horrific human rights abuses. UNHCR staff members are relaying stories of "witnessed executions and amputations and it anticipates up to 700,000 people will be forced to flee their homes.
On January 18, UNHCR spokeswoman Melissa Fleming warned that “there could be up to 300,000 people additionally displaced inside Mali, and over 400,000 additionally displaced in the neighboring countries. ”The figures do not include the existing 229,000 people already displaced inside the country and 147,000 refugees who have fled to neighboring nations, Fleming told reporters in Geneva.
In another report Mahboob Khawaja said “ The hurriedly enforced allied adventure in West Africa – Mali- tells clearly that the US led bogus “War on Terror” is endless and unprovoked aggression is part of the planned Western crusade against Islam and Muslims If American politicians are not irrational and war addicted what else is the reasoning for their utter madness and animosity against Islam and Muslims?
Columnist Glenn Greenwald attempts to synthesize the end game: There’s no question that this "war" will continue indefinitely. There is no
question that US actions are the cause of that, the gasoline that fuels the fire. The only question – and it's becoming less of a question for me all the time – is whether this endless war is the intended result of US actions or just an unwanted miscalculation.
Divided, scattered like seeds are Muslims and leaderless Arab people and their long due awakening to the prevalent realities of the emerging New World manipulated by the US war industries. There are lessons that other authoritarian Arab leaders should learn from the fate of Saddam, Gaddafi, Ben Ali and Bashar al-Assad.
Writer Colin Wilson (A Criminal History of Mankind) captions the perpetuated animosity and degenerating viciousness of the US led War on Terror and illustrates how it is a replica of the failed Roman Empire:
Would the Muslim in general and the oil-enriched Arab rulers in particular, ever THINK intelligently to stop the American incursions into their hearts and minds and to challenge the US continued unprovoked belligerency against Islam and the unjustifiable bogus War on Terror against the Muslim people worldwide?