Mali and Central Africa Republic update – 12-10-13

Not a lot of news from Mali, but perhaps that is just a reflection on my limited observation abilities. I’ve also been watching as conditions in Central Africa Republic disintegrate.  Unlike most people, I’m aware of the country. Why? Many years ago I actually had my feet on the ground for a day.

A few news articles on the situation in Mali before I mention CAR.

My condolences to their family, coworkers, and friends:

11-4 – Wall Street Journal – Mali Rebel Groups Questioned After Journalists Killed.

11-3 – Wall Street Journal – Two French Journalists Slain in North Mali– The experienced reporters were abducted leaving a meeting. Their bodies were found shortly thereafter.

11-15  Via Meadia – The Long War in Africa – The Islamists and others the French wanted to get under control are gaining strength in northern Mali:

Islamist militants, drug traffickers, smugglers, and separatist rebels are all active in northern Mali and lawless areas across the border

Via Meadia points out there are lots of battles around Africa. He lists several locations of low-level U.S. activity recently.

AQIM [Mali], Al Shabaab [Somalia], and Joseph Kony [eastern Congo] have little in common but in their own way, each highlights a range of difficulties plaguing African and international governments.

It is going to be a long fight:

This fight—dozens of small wars, more precisely—will be going on for some time to come.

Central Africa Republic

Things have gone sour in Central Africa Republic. Not sure how to tie that into discussion of Mali, but then again, trying to make sense of the change around us is my goal on this blog:

11-26 – Bismarck Tribune – France sends 1,000 troops to Central African Rep.

12-5 – New York Times – Heavy Fighting Reported in Central Africa Republic. The UN has authorized the deployment of troops.

12-7 – Yahoo News – Thousands seek refuge at Central African airport – Reports on national radio claim 280 people died after fighting Thursday in Bangui, the capital.  Article gives best short description of the conflict.

Here’s my poorly informed summary: After long-term perceived disenfranchisement, people in the Muslim north overthrew the government, dominated by Christians. The now in-power former rebels allegedly took violent revenge on the now out-of-power Christians, who now have formed their own militias to try taking back power. France has permission from the UN for a six-month intervention. An anonymous source says France will have 1,000 troops on the ground tomorrow.

12-7 – Aid Leap – CAR: Who? Where? What? – Good background and multiple links to articles. France will increase troop involvement from 1,000 to 6,000.

12-9 – Aid Leap – Round up on Crisis in Central African Republic – Lots of links to lots of news. Just reading the one-sentence summaries gives great background.

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