Mali, like much of Africa is rich in raw materials. Mali has large reserves of gold, uranium and lots of oil.. Mali recently became the center of a new “war on terror”.
Events in the formerly peaceful, democratic Mali began to get very strange on March 22, 2012 when Malian President Amadou Toumani Toure was ousted and driven into exile in a military coup one month before a scheduled presidential election. Toure had earlier instituted a multi-party democratic system. The putsch leader, Captain Amadou Haya Sanogo, received military training in the US, at Fort Benning, Georgia and the Marine Corps base in Quantico, Virginia according to AFRICOM’s spokesman. Sanogo claimed the military coup was necessary because Toure’s government was not doing enough to quell Tuareg unrest in northern Mali.
At the time of the military coup, the unrest in question was from an ethnic tribe, Tuareg, a secular, nomadic group of pastoral cattle-herding people who demanded independence from Mali in early 2012. The Tuareg Rebellion was reportedly armed and financed by France who repatriated Tuaregs who had been fighting in Libya for the purpose of splitting the north of Mali along Algeria’s border, from the rest of the country and declaring Sharia law.
French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told media the number of its ‘boots on the ground’ in Mali had reached 2,000, adding that “around 4,000 troops will be mobilized for this operation.” There are strong indications the French agenda in Mali is anything but humanitarian. In a France 5 TV interview, Le Drian carelessly admitted, “The goal is the total reconquest of Mali. We will not leave any pockets.” And President Francois Hollande said French troops would remain in the region long enough “to defeat terrorism.” The United States, Canada, Britain, Belgium, Germany and Denmark have all said they would support the French operation against Mali.
Is terrorism really the issue? A witnesses from the US military revealed that the US and NATO Special Forces trained the members of the AQIM (Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb) that France is now fighting. According to former US solder speaking under condition of anonymity, US and NATO Special Forces trained those terrorists in order to justify a neo-colonial US-backed invasion of Mali by France. In reality AQIM reportedly is little more than a well-armed criminal band that gets its money from running South American cocaine from Africa into Europe, or from arms dealing and human trafficking.
In fact AFRICOM was created by the Pentagon in order to counter the growing Chinese economic and political presence in Africa. In fact in 2011, China’s trade with Africa reached $166 billion. The “Dark continent” is an attractive and essential market for the US so we can wonder if the events in Africa are linked with the US desire of controlling a part of the continent.
“The War In Mali and AFRICOM’s Agenda: Target China”, F. William Engdahl, February 10, 2013.
Student Researcher: Maïa Boye, Sonoma State University
Faculty Evaluator: Dr. Brian Martin Murphy, Niagara University