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Mali

Resurgence of Rebellion in North Mali

Some Historical Perspective (Who are The Tuareg)

The Tuareg (Arab word. singular-targui) is a cultural community of bedouin Arab tribes, their black African slaves and muslim converts, and the mixed descendants of those relationships. They are nomadic Arab herdsmen and women who inhabited the desert plateaus of the Sahara abutting the Mediterranean sea for centuries. Epic drought has drastically reduced pasture for their animals and the ensuing famines threatened their populations. With Islam in tow, they are forced to migrate southward with the advancing desert for greener pasture, colonizing and converting the indigenous African communities of what is now called the Sahel region, a band of territory that lies in the path of the Sahara’s southward encroachment. They thrived on the indentured servitude of their colonized peoples (Eastern Mauritania, North Mali, North Niger, North Nigeria, North Burkina Faso) as they made their way toward the Niger delta and basin in search of water and ever-greener pasture. Buoyed by their slave populations and allied tribes of the empires (Mali, Songhai, Ghana), they were successful in keeping the French colonists at bay and closer to the Atlantic coast and the highlands of the Fouta Djallon. The French merchant colonists had posed a threat to their slave industry, pastoral fortunes, and religion. This mixed-culture Tuareg community encountered another indigenous nomadic tribesmen and women particularly the Songhoi and the Peulh and save for intermittent skirmishes, they managed to co-exist with them because of the latter’s affinity for Islam.
The international ban on slavery and the serial independence of African nations would deal a blow to the cultures and lifestyle of the Tuareg and intermittent drought and famine forced them to form bands of roving gangs to engage in drug and human trafficking, with a smattering of abductions for ransom. The Tuareg roving gangs transformed into militias and with help from Arab and muslim governments in the north, they became better organized and armed to transmogrify into secessionist movements for their own political governance. The menace over the years accrued sympathy from the newly independent nations culminating in several accommodating Accords (Mali: The Algiers Accord, The Pacte Nationale, The Kidal Regional Agreement, etc.). These Accords and minimal autonomy agreements were underwritten by Algeria, Mauritania, and Libya as strategic instruments to relieve those nations of secessionist rebellions and to formally complete the dispossession of the Tuaregs’ indigenous desert territories.

The February 2012 MNLA Event.

Gadhafi’s dynasty in Libya has been sustained by a parallel military structure comprised of mercenary troops and soldiers of fortune primarily from the bedouin Tuareg tribes of Eastern Mauritania, Southern Libya, Southern Algeria, North Mali, Northern Niger, and as far south as Northern Nigeria and Burkina Faso. The tribal soldiers have been for decades engaged in a campaign of their own, since the colonial independence of their respective nations from France, for a secessionist tribal enclave carved out of parts of Eastern Mauritania, Southern Algeria, North Mali, Northern Niger, and Northern Burkina Faso. Over the years, the secessionists have conducted armed campaigns under various militias both separately and in concert with varying degrees of success and defeat. Mali and Niger have entered into several peace accords with their respective secessionist groups which led Gadhafi to employ a significant number of the secessionists as contract soldiers to sustain his dynasty in Libya. The peace accords were transient at best because Gadhafi, seen as an ideological Guide for the bedouin tribes, harbored a larger bedouin empire to include a large part of the Sahel region of North Africa. Gadhafi was significantly invested in the peace accords and their implementation, all the while providing a safe have for a secessionist government in-waiting.
The hosting and assimilation of the tribal battalions within the Libya military structure estranged many of Libya’s indigenous tribes and threatened to create an irreversible sociopolitical rift among that nation’s loose tribal coalition. This situation, combined with widespread corruption and the dictatorship of the Gadhafi dynasty, led to the popular uprising which began in Benghazi and the Cyrenaica region of Libya. Gadhafi’s reaction to this popular uprising and his threat to lay siege on Benghazi with ominous threats of annihilation led to UN and NATO involvement on the side of the besieged Cyrenaica population.
As the revolution against the Gadhafi dynasty gained momentum, aided by UN and NATO air-campaign, the secessionist tribal conscripts of the Libya army commandeered significant military hardware back to their home countries where they sought refuge from those governments. Indeed, these governments, perhaps anticipating threats to their own governments, had been lukewarm in supporting the UN and NATO campaign to save Libya’s other tribes. They were therefore constrained to give refuge to the returning militias who brought with them an overwhelming military arsenal. The refuge arrangement did not include a thorough and accountable inventory of this arsenal because it focused more on a humanitarian accommodation of the tribal militia than any longer-term security of the Septentrion (Secessionist land claim).
The tribal militia, having been accorded asylum, retained and even paraded their arsenal in their reconstituted local militia. During their absence, Al-Qaa’Ida had gained a foothold in the Sahel as rear-guard for the contract tribal militia and has been engaged in arms, drugs, and human trafficking in the region to as far south as Northern Nigeria. Augmented by this regimen of Al-Qaa’Ida, the militias reformed under the banner of MNLA – National Movement for an Independent Azawad. Several public demonstrations took advantage of Mali’s  democratic governance and allegiance to decentralization and the peace accords. The impending presidential and legislative elections in Mali which would have seen the retirement of President Amadou Toumani ToureMali : après la chute de Kidal, quelle va être la tactique des insurgés touareg ? created a window of opportunity of existential proportions for the secessionist cause. With help from militia members who were reinserted into the Malian military to advance the peace accords, the MNLA overrun the army base at Tessalit by cutting off provisional delivery from Gao. As Tessalit went, so did Aguelhoc and Menaka.
On March 21st, 2012, The AU convened an emergency meeting in Bamako to express its total support of the territorial integrity of Mali and to reject the MNLA campaign of secession. The emergency expert session was led by new AU president Yayi Boni of Benin and included representatives of the UN and EU as well as Mali’s neighbors in the Sahel.

Coup D’etat in Mali 3.22.2012

The MNLA’s military successes left the North Mali regiments decimated and dispossessed leading to an acute refugee problem for Northern Niger, Northern Burkina Faso, Northern Guinea, Southern Mali, Southern Algeria, and Eastern Mauritania. These losses created general suspicion and indignation in Mali and military families from Kati descended on President Toure’s palace to demonstrate their anger and frustrations. Their contention was that the national soldiers in the North were abandoned without adequate arms and munitions to defend themselves and their bases against the MNLA onslaught. President ATT promised a more robust challenge against the MNLA rebellion but this was seen as too little too late and nurtured a mutiny among the soldiers of the Kati army base. They could not be pacified by Army-chief Sadio Gassama’s plea for a consolidated campaign against the rebels. The soldiers at Kati took Gassama hostage and proceeded toward Koulouba in Bamako to demand the ouster of President ATT. Led by Captain Amadou Aya Sanogo, the mutineers took over the national TV and Radio station ORTM and after a fierce gunfight with loyalist troops at Koulouba, President ATT was taken into safety by his loyalist forces.
The mutineers formed themselves into CNRDR and proclaimed a coup d’etat on ORTM TV:
The mutiny and coup d’etat could not have come at a more precarious and fragile time for Mali. It also was a necessary hard-turn to reconnoitre right for democracy because a nation cannot conduct free, fair, and valuable elections when its constitutional and territorial integrity is so fundamentally threatened or is in the midst of a secessionist rebellion. As in all military coups, Mali’s was marked by indiscriminate looting and crimes of revenge by some officers of the military, their impersonators, and other civilian criminals. The CNRDRE took steps to arrest this situation inured by the temporal breakdown of law and order.
Meanwhile, The MNLA took advantage of the mutiny-cum-coup d’etat in Mali to consolidate their gains and quickly overrun other garrisons in Ansongo, Goundam, Kidal, Gao, and Timbuktoo with greater ease and expedition. In Gao, the commander of the Mali National Army Garrison, El Hadj Gamou, surrendered and deserted to the MNLA. Here is a Dispatch of Agence France Presse from Gao; Before-During-After the MNLA armed bandits overran the city: (translation to come later)
Nord-Mali : peur, pillages et prisonniers en fuite dans la ville de Gao

EXCLUSIF AFP -Nord-Mali : peur, pillages et prisonniers en fuite dans la ville de Gao

Cellules de prison vides, entrepôts de la Croix-Rouge pillés, habitants en fuite : des images exclusives de Gao (nord-est du Mali) obtenues par l’AFP, tournées avant, pendant et après la prise de la ville par des groupes armés le 31 mars, témoignent de la désolation qui y règne.

Ancienne base de l’armée malienne pour tout le Nord, Gao a été attaquée et prise en quelques heures par des rebelles touareg, des islamistes armés et divers groupes criminels, après Kidal le 30 mars et avant Tombouctou le 1er avril. Ces groupes contrôlent depuis lors tout le Nord.
Avant l’attaque, sur ces premières images de la ville jamais diffusées depuis ces événements, un officier de l’armée se montre confiant : “nous allons nous battre par tous les moyens. (…) Ensemble nous pouvons vaincre. Ces ennemis, ils ne sont pas invincibles”.

On voit l’un des rares hélicoptères de l’armée survoler la ville. Il n’aura pas empêché les groupes armés de prendre Gao sans grande résistance. Alors que de la fumée noire s’échappe de bâtiments en feu, que des coups de feu se font encore entendre, des habitants fuient, tandis que d’autres pillent des magasins, chargent de lourds sacs de riz ou de maïs sur leur dos, des deux-roues ou des charrettes.

Le cameraman rend visite à des hommes qui ont participé à la prise de la ville. Presque tous enturbannés, armés de kalachnikov, ils sont visiblement d’origines et de communautés diverses. Deux d’entre eux ont la peau noire, s’expriment en pular (langue peule), les autres à la peau claire parlent en arabe ou tamachek (langue des Touareg). L’un crie “Allah Akbar” (Dieu est grand).

D’après une traduction du pular au français faite à la demande de l’AFP, l’un des deux Noirs dit “travailler pour le paradis”, l’autre affirme : “on ne court pas derrière la belle vie, tout ce que nous sommes en train de faire aujourd’hui, on le fait pour demain”.

La traductrice est formelle : l’accent de ces deux hommes parlant pular est un accent du Nigeria, ce qui semble confirmer des informations sur la présence de membres du mouvement islamiste radical et violent Boko Haram, né au Nigeria.

Prisonniers évadés

Le 7 avril, un journaliste d’une radio de Gao, Malick Alioune Maïga, est filmé dans la cour de la prison vide, puis devant les entrepôts du Comité international de la Croix-Rouge (CICR) pillés, et dans le quartier des banques saccagées.
“On est dans la cour de la maison d’arrêt de Gao”, commente le journaliste. “Il n’y a aucun prisonnier, ils se sont tous évadés lors de l’attaque de Gao”, dit-il sans donner le nombre de détenus en fuite.
Selon lui, ces prisonniers faisaient partie de “grands gangs”, ils étaient “de grands voleurs, des bandits qui sont actuellement avec la population”.Devant le bâtiment du CICR dont on distingue bien le symbole, il raconte que là se trouvaient “d’importants stocks de riz, de maïs, de toutes sortes”.
“C’est une désolation, une déception de tout le peuple, de toute la région et de toute la nation”, lâche le journaliste, qui vient d’être brutalisé par des rebelles touareg dans la nuit de mardi à mercredi pour sa description de la situation sur place. “Ça a été pillé, saccagé. Les gens ont tout pris, aujourd’hui la cité est dans une situation très critique”.
Devant le local de l’organisation humanitaire Action contre la faim, des centaines de papiers et de documents jonchent le sol poussiéreux. On voit l’intérieur de banques visitées par les pillards. “Tout a été saccagé. Les biens ont été emportés et on n’a plus de banques ici à Gao”, décrit Malick Alioune Maïga.
Dans l’hôpital, des tables de travail ont été renversées, des boîtes et flacons de médicaments jetés à terre. D’autres images tournées le soir du 31 mars montrent des dizaines de personnes faisant la queue à la gare routière devant le guichet “Gao-Bamako”. Elles veulent partir mais il n’y a pas assez de places. Des familles entières avec leurs bagages restent quand même là pour dormir et attendre le prochain car.
“C’est plus que nécessaire d’évacuer toutes les familles civiles qui sont à Gao”, dit un jeune voyageur. “La menace est là”. Selon des habitants contactés mercredi par l’AFP, la situation n’a fait que s’aggraver depuis que ces images ont été tournées : électricité et eau desservies quelques heures par jour seulement, et la nourriture manque. “Les gens continuent de quitter Gao”, dit l’un d’eux.

23:03 – 11/04/12

BAMAKO (AFP)

During this time, an extraordinary session of ECOWAS was convened to fortify Mali’s military against the MNLA campaign as the CNRDRE consolidates its authority and restore calm, law, and order in the rest of Mali against an ECOWAS ultimatum to restore constitutional order and free detained political party leaders or face severe asphyxiating sanctions. The CNRDRE continued to enjoy gradual mass appeal and support as they engaged in existential diplomacy to restore constitutional order. A high level ECOWAS delegation was prevented from convening in Mali as they decided against disembarking at the Bamako-Senou airport. This unfortunate incident resulted in ECOWAS proclaiming a 72-hour unprecedented ultimatum which threatened among other measures, the closure of borders between Mali and its ECOWAS neighbors along with the sea ports that Mali depends on for basic sustenance, if the CNRDRE does not return constitutional order in Mali. As the CNRDRE and ECOWAS negotiated the lifting of this extreme ultimatum, the MNLA on Thursday, 4/5/2012, declared on French TV and on their website, the complete and political independence of the Azawad nation.
This declaration indicates that contrary to the MNLA’s earlier claim that the Azawad nation comprised parts of Eastern Mauritania, Southern Algeria, Northern Mali, Southern Libya, Northern Niger, Northern Burkina Faso, etcetera, the newly-independent Azawad nation only comprises that territory Northeast of a line through Timbuktoo and Gao extending to the Mauritania border and the Niger border. MNLA’s allied forces such as the Islamist Ansaru Ddeen, disassociated themselves from the secessionist independence and declared separately that their objective was the imposition of Islamic Sharia law on the conquered territories and peoples. Theirs was a fight for theocratic rule within an autonomous Azawad it would seem. The Niger Tuareg wing of the MNLA also expressed their rejection of the MNLA declaration of independence for Azawad-in-Mali. The Salafist wing of the MNLA, who have been fighting their own secessionist guerilla war with Algeria for decades now, took advantage of their Umbrella-MNLA’s capture of Gao to abduct the Algerian Consul General in that city. The declaration of independence was swiftly rejected by ECOWAS, the AU, EU, and the UN. It seems the MNLA’s expedition for an Arabo-Tuareg Dynasty carved from  the territory of Mali was foolhardy at the very least, and criminal at the extreme.
3/30/2012  Friday: Both military camps of Kidal Fall to the Ansaaru Ddeen and AQMI gangs that constitute the MNLA. The Mali army under col. Gamou flees Ansongo and Bourem to, according to them, reinforce the Gao divisions. Abdul Karim ag Matafa is president of the combined outfits of Ansaaru Ddeen and AQMI in Kidal.
3/31/2012  Saturday: The MNLA enters Gao, the second largest military Un Groupe de rebelles touaregspresence in the country after Kati. Gao’s 3 camps were deserted as col. Gamou’s men desert to join the MNLA and others flee southward toward Bamako.

CNRDRE-ECOWAS ENTENTE

4/2/2012 Monday: ECOWAS places an embargo on Mali, pursuant to the 72-hour Ultimatum it issued on the CNRDRE. Burkina Faso’s minister of external affairs Hon. Djibril Bassole was appointed to represent ECOWAS mediator President Blaise Compaore.
4/3/2012 Tuesday: The CNRDRE puts forward its plan to return constitutional governance in Mali through a planning committee ADPS comprising civil society, political party leaders, and military officers. The CNRDRE also convened meetings with Mali religious leaders and trades unions to reassure the general public of CNRDRE’s commitment to transfer governance to civilians who will prepare the nation for good elections.
4/4/2012 Wednesday: CNRDRE’s Captain Amadou Sanogo travels to Burkina Faso to meet with President Compaore and to reassure ECOWAS that the CNRDRE is on track to form a transitional government headed by Mali National Assembly President Hon. Dioncounda Traore. Dioncounda will lead a mixed civilo-military interim government which will organize good presidential and legislative elections for Mali and coordinate the security of the people and territory of Mali. In return, the CNRDRE requests complete amnesty for its officers, their family, and close associates.
4/5/2012 Thursday: President Compaore dispatches Hon. Bassole to Kati to lay the groundwork for lifting of the embargo and to communicate the modalities of engagement for the ECOWAS Mali Assistance force to evict the criminal MNLA from North Mali. Captain Amadou Haya Sanogo and Hon. Djibril Bassole conclude a memorandum of understanding that laid the groundwork for the lifting of the ECOWAS embargo.

4/6/2012 Friday: ECOWAS lifts the embargo and the AU, UN, and EU are expected to follow suit.

Transition Phase Begins.

4/7/2012 Saturday: Transition President Hon. Dioncounda Traore arrives in Bamako from Burkina Faso where he had been since the CNRDRE intervention. Former ATT Prime Minister and Presidential candidate Modibo Sidibe is released from custody by the CNRDRE.
4/8/2012 Sunday: Former President ATT offers his resignation to pave the way for transition President Hon. Dioncounda Traore.
The Association of citizens of North Mali who are resident in Bamako (COREN) have disassociated themselves from the MNLA’s claim to an independent Azawad nation. COREN indicates that an Azawad nation is a figment of the MNLA bandits’ imagination and such a nation is unrecognizable from any of Mali’s cultures and communities. The MNLA’s actions merely represent a political exploitation of their criminal gains.
The Association of land owners of the region claimed by MNLA to be the Azawad nation (Gandakoye) have declared their total rejection of the idea of an Azawad nation labelling it a utopian nation. Gandakoye resolves to recover their indigenous land if by force and return it in the nation of Mali where it belongs.
The National Alliance of Mali Youth for Democracy (an alliance of some 24 organizations) AJAJ has proclaimed its total support of the CNRDRE and has called on all Malians to rally behind the interventionist CNRDRE as they work to return Mali to constitutional governance and to secure the nation’s territorial integrity.
The Mali National Youth Council (CNJ-Mali), The Heirs of Tiramakan (Tiramakan-Si), and The National Front of Mali Youth echoed the positions of COREN, Gandakoye, and AJAJ, and resolved to liberate their territories and peoples who have been colonized by the MNLA bandits. They have decided to combine resources for a unified Front against the MNLA and associated Al-Qaa’Ida, Boko Haram, and Ansar’U Deen criminals.
Meanwhile evacuees continue to flee the murder, rape, and looting in Kidal, Gao, and Timbuktoo. There are reports that the MNLA is forciblyIyad Ag Ghali drafting vulnerable and destituted citizens of the area into Defense Gangs in anticipation of a national campaign to recover Mali territory and communities from the criminals. Easter celebrations this year at the Bamako cathedral were subdued and somber at this time Mali’s high moment.
A new association called Cries of the Heart has mobilized to raise funds and resources to deliver humanitarian aid to the destituted peoples of Kidal, Gao, Timbuktoo and environs in North Mali.

4/9/2012 Monday: Captain Amadou Haya Sanogo of the CNRDRE met with incoming transition president Dr. Dioncounda Traore at the Kati military camp. Captain Sanogo followed the meeting with a press conference to reassure the people of Mali that the Accord he signed with ECOWAS represented a rare opportunity for Mali to consolidate national unity and democracy that will stand the nation in good stead as they engage the MNLA in the impending national security campaign. A critical mass of convergence for the unambiguous rejection of the MNLA and the introduction of fosse and occult Islam in Mali is gathering momentum. Political parties, civil society organizations, and religious communities are united in solidarity behind the CNRDRE-ECOWAS Accord and in the prospective recovery of Mali territory and liberation of her peoples.
4/10/2012 Tuesday: Captain Amadou Haya Sanogo receives the Lord Mayor of Kati Hon. Hamala Haidara, The Supreme Islamic Council delegation, and Ivory Coast minister of Integration Hon. Adama Bictogo. COREN and The Green-Yellow-Red Movement conduct public demonstrations resolving to participate fully in the restoration of Mali National security and integrity. They were joined in the demonstration by Hon. Tiken Jah Fakoly and other artists. Adema-Pasj National Women’s Group donates 10 tons of cereal to COREN to assist in the latter’s humanitarian relief effort. Former Prime Minister Hon. Soumana Sacko, one of the initiators of the Mali National PACT weighs in on the cancer of the MNLA on the hard-won Mali national tapestry.
4/11/2012 Wednesday: Interim president Dr. Dioncounda Traore pays Captain Amadou Haya Sanogo of the CNRDRE a courtesy call ahead of the former’s inauguration tomorrow. An agglomeration of civil society groups conducts a public demonstration coalescing the different groups toward the singular purpose of liberating North Mali. They were joined by Dr. Oumar Mariko, leader of the SADI political party. Two communication companies have initiated a fundraising project called One Malian-One SMS to fund logistics for the Mali national military. RPM political party and African Women’s Organization FEMNET-Mali declare their support for the Mobilization against he MNLA criminals. FEMNET calls on the transition authorities to prosecute all crimes against women in accordance with UN and AU resolutions and to permanently secure the North Mali populations against future criminals.
4/12/2012 Thursday: Interim President Dr. Dioncounda Traore is inaugurated.
4/13/2012 Friday: In the Arab section of Abaradjou, northern Timboctou,GAO: Bilal Ag Acherif annonce la fermeture prochaine des frontières 5 people including a pregnant woman were seriously injured in altercations between residents and the MNLA. Ansaaru Ddeen has released some 160 military personnel who had been captured when their camps in Agelhoc and Tessalit fell to the MNLA. The prisoners were released to the Mali Supreme Islamic Council and they were transported to Kati Military clinic. Humanitarian Aid caravan conducted by COREN arrives in Timboktou. A mixed politico-civil group of Forces Vives of Mali travel to Ouagadougou to meet with ECOWAS mediator President Blaise Compaore regarding the regime of transition in Mali.
4/14/2012 Saturday: A caravan of humanitarian aid coordinated by the association of North Mali Diasporans in Bamako (COREN) arrives in Gao much to the delight of local citizens and Ansaaru Ddeen.
4/15/2012 Sunday: The Regional Council of Mali Merchants of Timboktou condemns the overruning of Timboktou by MNLA and the pseudo-Hommes du MNLA posant devant le drapeau de l'Azawad et un pick-up équipé d'un lanceur de missiles sol-air, issu des stocks militaires libyens. | Moussa Ag Assaridislamic bandits of Ansaaru Ddeen. The council pledges its allegiance to the Mali flag, national anthem and motto. They reject the brand of fosse islam purveyed by the criminals. Today, Bilal Ag Acherif, Secretary General of MNLA/Ansaaru Ddeen held a press conference in Gao during which he declared that the borders of the Azawad nation will be closed shortly and he advised all MNLA gang leaders to prepare to occupy new Azawad government posts such as governors, administrators, customs, and police, that will be created in a few days under the Azawad flag. In attendance at the press conference were Hassan Ag Mehdi former director at the Niger Basin Development Authority, Eglese Ag Ouffene former envoy of ATT in Gao, and former Mali army colonel Najim.
4/16/2012 Monday: Transition President Dioncounda Traore has dispatched PARENA party’s Tiebile Drame and Moustapha Dicko as envoys to Mauritania in an effort to open a line of communication with MNLA. Eastern Mauritania serves as the operational base of MNLA. Mauritania has pledged support for the territorial integrity of Mali. The CNRDRE has arrested several politicians and military officials on suspicion of destabilization.
4/17/2012   Tuesday: Former NASA scientist, Microsoft Africa CEO, PATHFINDER NGO Director, UNESCO goodwill ambassador, and RPDM party presidential hopeful Dr. CHeikh Modibo Diarra has been named Prime Minister of the Interim government by Captain Sanogo and Interim President Dioncounda Traore. It is expected that PM Diarra will name the cabinet of ministers soon.
4/18/2012 Wednesday: The CNRDRE is reported to have discovered a large cache of arms and munitions in Bamako which led to the arrests monday of some 22 persons including Hons. Soumaila Cisse and former ATT Prime Minister Modibo Sidibe. This amid rumors of a counter-coup. Interim Prime Minister Cheikh Modibo Diarra cautioned the CNRDRE against illegal arrests and witch-hunting. The National Front to Safeguard Democarcy and The Republic FDR demonstrated against the rash of arrests and claims of subversion.

………………..

5/6/2012 Sunday: The MNLA bandits have desecrated the tomb of one of Timbuktoo’s Saints, Sidi Mahmoud ben Amah, and burned the remains of the entombed Saint. This is another in a series of desecrations of Timbuktoo’s World Heritage Sites by the MNLA criminals.
5/25/2012 Friday: In its effort to legitimize its crimes of abduction, drugs and human trafficking in Kidal, Gao, Goundam, and Timbuktoo, the MNLA have re-organized themselves into an Islamic Council and have made a declaration that it will institute Sharia Law in the areas under its control for an Azawad nation.

…….More to come………

Mali gained independence from France on September 22nd, 1960. In the years preceding her independence, Mali, Senegal, Guineas Conakry and Bissau, Burkina Faso, and Gambia, have shared histories and cultures. From the Ghana Empire, to the fabled Mali Empire and King Soundiata Keita, to the legendary Songhai Empire and King Musa, and the recenter Mali Federation of 1959 constructed to shore up the African nations’ independence from France.

This history and legend earned Mali the prominent position she now covets in the annals of history and travel. There is a concerted effort underway to resurrect Timboctou, Djenne, and Gao as centers of African Islamic renaissance and Caravan trade.

Bordered by Algeria in the north (~600 mi.), Niger in the east (~400 mi.), Burkina Faso and Cote D’Ivoire in the south (~450 & 200 mi. resp.), Guinea Conakry in the southwest (~300 mi.), and Senegal and Mauritania in the west (~150 & 1000 mi. resp.), Mali is landlocked and does not have a seaport. Mali however is the largest nation in West Africa with an area of 1,241,300 square kilometers.

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ROP-1 Africa Partners

She has an inland port at Koulikoro along the Niger River perhaps because the Niger is Mali’s most significant water resource for sustenance and transportation. During the slave trade, people from Mali were transported via the Senegal, Bafing, Baoule’, and Niger Rivers to the ports of Saint Louis, Conakry, and Lagos, for onward transhipment to the Americas, the Martinique and the Carribean Isles, and Europe. The capital of Mali is Bamako.

Mali’s most significant preoccupations are the enhancement of the fragile truce with the tuareg and berber tribes in the north and to a lesser extent water quarrels with her sister nation Senegal over the shared Senegal river. Otherwise Mali is adequately endowed in natural resources and ingenuity for a landlocked nation.

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Please click on the link below to view a map of Mali

http://www.izf.net/affiche_oscar.php?num_page=3495

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Mali Facts

Population:  approx. 12,000,000                   

Latitude:   between 10 deg. N and 25 deg. N

Longitude: 4 deg. E and 12 deg. E

Highest pt: Hombori butte (1,115m / 3,345ft.)

Land Area: 1,241,300 sq. km (480,040 sq.mi.)

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Mali Climate:

Mali sits largely on a plateau with very little marked relief and barometric fluctuations in the main. Her size and expanse ensures a variety of soil types and vegetative cover. Mali has four bio-climatic zones, but the presence of the Niger, Senegal, Bafing, and Baoule rivers and the lattices of the Highlands makes for a panorama of flora and fauna and unique climatic enclaves within these main zones. For example the oases of the Sahara Zone make for almost strange ecologies on a dry sand mat. Also the Central Niger Delta that bisects the Sahel and Sudan Zones makes for an almost foreign flora, fauna and activity, that belongs perhaps to the North-Guinea Zone with its network of rivers and their tributaries interspersed with a few falls and gorges.

The Sahara: In much of Northern Mali, the Sahara stretches as far south as Timboctou and Gao characterized by insignificant annual rainfall (max. 300mm), sandy soil, sparse to no vegetation, high temperatures that vary tremendously between day and night.

The Sahel: Immediately south of the Sahara, the Sahel stretches to just north of kayes and just south of Mopti characterized by Sandy soils and aeolian dunes and rocky outcrops. Average rainfall is 400mm all of which fall in a short 3 month season. The Sahel contains the Central Niger Delta.

The Sudan: Stretching from the Sahel to a line running west-east through Bamako, the Sudanreceives more rain for a longer period; on average 800mm for up to five months. Vegetation is more dense and the soil is more ferruginous and retains water for an appreciable enough time to allow crop production and stock-rearing.

The North-Guinea: The southern-most climatic zone of Mali stretches from the Sudan zone to the terraces of the Fouta Djallon Highlands. Rainfall here is well over 1000 mm and lasts up to seven months. This is Mali’s forest region with red ferralitic soils and is suitable for fruit cultivation. The North-Guinea also is home to Mali’s few gorges and tropical fauna and flora.

Please click on the link below to view a drainage map of mali:

http://www.africa.upenn.edu/CIA_Maps/Mali_19856.gif

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Natural Resources:

Mali PEOPLE:                                                        

Africans – Bambara (Bamana, Malinke, Soninke) Peulh, Dioula, Mossi, Bobo, Minianka, Senoufo, Sarakole, Songhoi, Dogon, Bozo, Tuareg, Moore, Arab.

Variations of these ethnicities have developed an even larger number of languages and phonetics such as Wollof, Toucouleur, Jahanka, Wassoulounka, and Soussou.

North and South American, Carribean, European, Asian, Middle-Eastern(Arabia and the Maghreb)

Australian & Pacific Islanders.

Languages:

French (official language of Mali), Bambara, Mandingo(Malinke), Pulaar, Soninke, Toucouleur, Sonrai, Soussou, Dioula, Tamashek, etc.

Songhai, Tamashek, Senufo, Mossi, Dioula, Dogon, Arabic, English.

RELIGION:

Islam, Christianity, Non-denominational.

Mali Rivers:

The Niger River is 4700 km long, of which 1700 km traverses Mali in a SW-NE-Easterly direction into The Niger Republic.

ADMINISTRATION:

Mali is divided into 8 regions and one administrative district of Bamako. There are efforts underway considering further subdividing the regions for more efficient administration. The new map could consist of up to 20 or more regions. As it stands, the regions of Mali are:

Bamako and its 6 Communes

Gao, Kayes, Kidal, Koulikoro, Mopti, Segou, Sikasso, Timboctou.

These regions are further subdivided into 49 Cercles and the 6 Communes of Bamako for 55 Representative Areas. The National Assembly deputies are elected by and represent constituencies from these 55 RA’s  demarcated on the bases of population. For example, Commune-4 RA elects 2 deputies to the National Assembly.

From these permutations, the Mali National Assembly has 147 Deputies.

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