Home Tag "Mali"

France Enters Malian Fray

By William Tucker On Friday, January 11th, French military forces were thrust into the midst of the Malian conflict in response to a recent Islamist offensive that was driving south. The Islamist offensive initially assaulted the central city of Mopti, and the nearby city of Sevare – which hosts the Mopti airport – before becoming bogged down. Rather than fight a protracted battle with the Malian military and risk heavy losses...

Islamists Move South in Mali

By William Tucker The Malian army has stated that Islamists who seized much of northern Mali last year – along with several Tuareg groups – have begun moving south towards Mopti. The city of Mopti sits astride the Niger river and lays in the narrow region that separates the north of Mali from the south. Currently, the Malian army controls the majority of this chokepoint.

Malians express dismay at intervention timeframe

Malians express dismay at intervention timeline after UN backs force to oust Islamists

BAMAKO, Mali (AP) — Malians living under the grip of al-Qaida-linked rebels expressed dismay Friday that it could be nearly a year before a regional military intervention to oust the Islamists from power.

The U.N.’s most powerful body on Thursday authorized an African-led led force but made no mention of size and set no timeline for military action.

Libya Closes its Southern Borders

By William Tucker In an attempt to stem the flow of people illegally transiting Libyan territory and the rather robust black market activities, the Parliament in Tripoli has ordered the borders with Sudan, Chad, Niger, and Algeria to be temporarily closed. Furthermore, the southern regions of Ghadames, Ghat, Obari, Al-Shati, Sebha, Murzuq and Kufra would be "considered as closed military zones to be ruled under emergency law."

Regionalization and Spillover

By William Tucker In the last two days Syrian mortars have been fired into Golan prompting Israel to return fire. Also over the weekend the Syrian military carried out an airstrike on a rebel held village on the Syrian-Turkish border. These events have been used as evidence by international media that the Syrian civil war is spilling over into neighboring countries, and thus, is taking on a regional dimension.

Retaking Mali’s North

By William Tucker Guinea has agreed to release a shipment of military arms bound for Mali following an inspection by Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). The arms shipment was held up because ECOWAS was still mediating in the crisis between the Malian military and the civilian government. The transfer of power to a new unity government back in August helped clear the way for international assistance.

Malian Rebel Groups Merge, Declare Independence

By William Tucker Two rebel groups that participated in the effort to seize northern Mali in the midst of a military coup in the capital of Bamako have signed a formal agreement that merges the two groups into one governing entity. The Tuareg group, the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA), and the Ansar Dine, an affiliate of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Mahgreb, signed the accord in Timbuktu.

The Battle for Mali Continues

By William Tucker Units of the Malian military that supported the coup launched a new assault on loyalist forces today, seizing control of an anti-junta military base in the capital. Many of the loyalist forces have fled Bamako after a new decree was issued calling for the arrest of the remaining forces still loyal to the ousted President. The fighting between pro-junta and loyalist forces has remained confined primarily to Bamako.

Militant Groups Gain Ground in Northern Mali

By William Tucker Two weeks ago I stated the military led coup against the Malian government did not bode well for counterterrorism operations in North Africa. That now seems to be an understatement. The head of the Malian junta, Captain Amadou Sanogo, ordered the military to back off fighting in the northern city of Gao for fear of endangering the civilians in the city.

Coup Underway in Mali

By William Tucker In an event that could seriously damage counterterrorism efforts in North Africa, Malian soldiers have mutinied and are now firing on the presidential palace. The recent unrest was sparked by a visit to a northern military base by the Minister of Defense. Malian soldiers have been fighting a Tuareg offensive in the north only to be constantly defeated. Government soldiers are complaining of inadequate training and weapons.