MALI Coup - Anybody stranded out there?





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  1. #1
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    Question MALI Coup - Anybody stranded out there?

    I remember some forumites posting from Mali on contract) in the construction sector or oil industry).

    Wonder if the guys are safe or able to move on their own accord?
    Is there public comms available and the internet working.

    Keep us posted and if you need some assistance we can give from outside, let us know.
    Kalahari Safari
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  2. #2
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    Henri is warming the Troopie up I'm sure!
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kalahari Safari View Post
    I remember some forumites posting from Mali on contract) in the construction sector or oil industry).
    Wonder if the guys are safe or able to move on their own accord?
    Is there public comms available and the internet working.
    Keep us posted and if you need some assistance we can give from outside, let us know.
    Hi Kalahari,thanks for your concern.There are many of my mates stuck there at the moment.Luckily the mines site where they are is remote and far from Bamako.The mine is still running so comms are in place.The airport and borders are all closed as you know.I am sure that there are evacuation plans in place if push comes to shove.It is not a nice situation and I have been it several times.You just need to sit it out and hope all ends well.I am just next door in Guinea.
    Howard

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  4. #4
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    Damn, this one annoys me!

    After decades under military rule, Mali was a far-from perfect democracy, but it was trying. Elections were due next month. The problem here is a bit of an over-spill from the Libya war last year, because Tuaregs (the desert nomads) got involved on both sides, then came back with lots of weapons, and the idea of carving out a separate homeland for themselves in the Sahara. The government in Mali was slow to react, and the army was under-equipped, getting pushed out of a number of small towns.

    So, they get stroppy, and turn on their own government! Damn, do they understand just how stupid that makes them look?

    Welcome to the 1970's.

    Mike
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    pretty pathetic, but hardly surprising Mike,

    these guys might have BMWs and cellphones now, but they never left the dark ages, never mind 1970...

  6. #6
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    I'm actually not so sure if the Tuareg are the ones pulling the strings. Aware of the general movements and the links to extremists organisations the Tuaregs are spread out over many countries (Algeria, Libya, Marocco, Mauretania and Mali), so I don't see the benefits for a military coup in one of the countries for them.

    On the other hand, they might have some support within the weapon wielding brigade which now dominates the scene.

    Let's hope it all quiets down and normalises a bit, in the hope that the army guys can see the industry's need for foreign expertise the expats might be left alone in the meantime.

    I was actually hoping to get some feed-back from within, from one of the forumites currently in Mali, might still happen.
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  7. #7
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    No, it's not like that. The Tuaregs have driven the Mali army out of some outlying towns. The Mali army asked for more guns & ammo from the government to deal with them, and didn't get it, so took over the government.

    They're a feisty bunch, the Tuaregs. Some of them are associated with AQIM (Al Quaeda of the Islamic Magreb). Even when I went through there in the 90's, we couldn't go as far as Gao, Mopti and Timbuktu because the Tuaregs held the area. They not only drove the Malian army out, they also forced the UN outta there, and then hijacked the UN convoy as it was leaving. They took all the UN vehicles, and left a whole lot of UN big-wigs standing naked in the desert, having even taken their clothes.

    Mike
    Last edited by MikeAG; 2012/03/26 at 07:10 PM.
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  8. #8
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    Here's a pretty reasonable assessment from the London Independent:

    Were it not for the looming presence of al-Qa'ida (AQIM) in the Maghreb, last week's military coup in Mali might be met with the half-anxious apathy with which the international community usually greets upheavals in Saharan Africa.

    Although an unusual democratic experiment in a tough region has just been snuffed out, that alone is – sadly – not sufficient reason for global concern. The fear is that the military takeover, and the Tuareg rebellion in the north that prompted it, may reinforce an increasingly dangerous al-Qa'ida affiliate and further destabilise an already hazardous region. And while a coup by an obscure ethnic minority in what is, for many, an unfamiliar section of the map might seem a distant problem, the lines of responsibility in this particular case are very clear.

    Mali's President, Amadou Toumani Tourι, is far from blameless. He repeatedly ignored pressure to act against either AQIM or the gun runners and drug smugglers traversing the Sahara. He also insisted that the fighting in the north was under control. But his demoralised and humiliated army knew different, and such complacency was finally punished by their by seizing power at the barrel of a gun.

    But the rebellion in Mali is nonetheless a direct consequence of the toppling of the Gaddafi regime in Libya. Many of the Tuareg fighters now tearing up their homeland fled south after decades serving in Gaddafi's army, starting a chain reaction of unintended consequences across one of the world's remotest – and most difficult to control – regions. Having provided crucial assistance to the rebellion in Libya, the international community cannot now wash its hands of the consequences.

    With AQIM on the march, the stakes are high, not just for Mali, or even just for the region, but for the entire world. It is up to the West to put concerted pressure on both the Malian military and the Tuareg rebels – with the help of other governments in the region – to hold peace talks. The current crisis has already displaced more than 100,000 people across impoverished borders in the middle of a severe Sahelian hunger season. There is no time to waste. - The Independent

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    It seems to me that the 'factions' - whatever you want to call them in these places - actually do not want peace.

    I suppose the people that take the brunt of it would like it to all end, on the face of it.

    but if I look at even south african politics - it seems there is no sensibility in any of it. Any excuse for another war/fight/burn something down.

    not that Europe is much better actually, if I look at Greece and the UK over the last year or so.

    Touaregs eh? at least they have more taste than our locals, VWs are far more tasteful than BMWs with tinted windows....

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Apocalypse View Post
    .....
    Touaregs eh? at least they have more taste than our locals, VWs are far more tasteful than BMWs with tinted windows....
    ... funny man on serious matters .

    Tony, thanks for the background info, seems what Mike is suggesting has its base in common knowledge looking at it from this angle.

    I will be hard to get the Tuaregs to a negotiating table, that's what they have avoided for centuries and they are the (secret) rulers of the region with accepted free movement across international borders.
    In this case the AQIM is most certainly a massive treat not only for the region but the entire world then who is there to control their movements.
    We had some "surprise" visits from a Touareg party on camels during our expedition through Algeria, Niger and Nigeria in the late 80's, fortunately they were not so polarized at that time and we came away without any hassles, learned only later when we reached Zinder (Niger) that some travelers gone missing in the border area, vehicles found, no traces left.

    Now this thread has become pretty political albeit informative, I was actually interested to hear what the expat community is making out of the situaion and how they intend to look after their safety.

    Hopefully we can hear from them at some stage.
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