Thursday, April 04, 2013

Another day in Africa

The French armed forces have almost attained their goal in Mali.  The Islamist insurgents have been defeated and forced to retreat from Bamako and Timbuktu into the hinterland between Mali and Algeria.  But, in this wild desert country they are able to hold out for long periods, just as the Taliban did in the Pakistan-Afghanistan border region, until they were able to make a comeback in the past few years. The Taliban are again a force to be reckoned with, so much so that Pres. Karzai is now negotiating with them.
So in Mali, it's not the end of the war, but only a respite, until the French withdraw later this year, just as the US and other allies withdrew from Afghanistan.  So this is the pattern, that a group of Islamist insurgents takes control of a Muslim country and control it by terror.  Clearly in Mali the Black Muslim population did not want to be dominated by "white" Arab and Tuareg Muslims and now there is a wave of counter-attacks against "white" Muslims in Mali.  But, the uprising is never fully defeated, and the insurgents will stand by and await their chance to return and gain revenge when the powerful outsiders withdraw, as they must.  As far as they are concerned God is on their side.  The Malian armed forces are inadequate to deal with the consequences, they are ill-trained and very poorly equipped, they lack radios and binoculars.  That is why an intense training program is beginning under the French.  Whether or not the Malian army can ever be effective remains to be seen.
In the Central African Republic (nearly 2,000 miles from Mali) there are very few Muslims, and so the situation is entirely different.  It comes down to a simple issue of who will retain power in a very poor, desolate, but mineral rich country.  France used to control these areas, but one feels that their act in Mali is the last gasp of a former colonial power trying to stave off chaos and anarchy.  The CAR Government in Bangui was weak and repressive and Pres. Bouzizi has been overthrown in a military coup by the Seleka rebels. Now the S. African armed forces went in, for reasons undisclosed, and 13 of their soldiers were killed in an ambush.  Bodies litter the streets, just another day in Africa. 


Post a Comment

<< Home