3-1 – American Interest – A French Exit Strategy for Mali
Check out this summary of the mess the French find themselves in:
The French, having hastily announced very expansive war aims, soon found themselves in a nasty fix: namely, without the means to achieve their ends.
The MNLA, previously the lead group of the Tuareg forces, have aligned with the French. The concept, as outlined by Mr. Garfinkle, is the MNLA will take over the permanent task of policing the Sahel in return for recognition or independence or something.
2-19 – Wall Street Journal – Divided Nomads Cloud Mali Mission
Article describes the Tuareg nomads as being divided into several groups on all sides of the conflict. The splits are reportedly based:
along the lines of an age-old caste system and personal rivalries.
The article describes this breakout:
One group, the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad—known by its French initials MNLA—has fought to secede from Mali. Another, Ansar Dine, has fought to impose strict Islamic law, and teamed with al Qaeda. A third group of disenchanted lower-caste Tuareg has stayed loyal to the state, though also to Col. El Hadj Gamou, a mustached ex-rebel turned government commander.
The picture gets far more complicated with every little bit I learn.