Mali and Central Africa update – 2-16-14
Not much news to mention on Mali, which is probably a reflection on my attentiveness. Sad news continues to come out of CAR.
12-7 – Economist – Taken down a peg – Behind the indictment and pending trial of the captain who led the coup leading to the current instability, the Economist staff see continuing political turmoil and institutional weakness. It does show, to the writer, that the new president, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, is in control.
Regardless whether the trial is for appearances only, will flounder, lead to a kangaroo court, or end with a legitimate conviction & jail time, seems to me removing the coup leader (and his closest allies) from public and political life, for a while at least, is a very good thing.
12-14 – Wall Street Journal – Several Peacekeepers Killed in Mali, U.N. Says – a car bomb exploded outside a bank in Kidal (1,000 miles NE of Bamako) killing several peacekeepers guarding the bank.
Central Africa Republic
12-9 – Wall Street Journal – U.S. to Fly African Troops Into Conflict Zone – Two C-17s used to move 850 African Union troops into Bangui. This shows me the limited airlift capacity of French military forces. Combined with reported French troop strength of 1,600, that brings total troop count to about 2,450.
1-18- The Economist – New management, old divisions – The Muslim president has resigned. An interim president has taken office. Violence flared after the resignation. Militias on both sides are still in place and strong.
1-31 – Via Meadia (The Feed?) – Vicious Revenge Killings as CAR God War Explodes – The ethnic violence seems to be transforming into religious violence. Red Cross reports 35 dead and 65 hurt. Reports are that total fatalities so far are around 2,000. Claimed level of types of brutality are increasing (better to say deteriorating?). Reports are that 1,600 French troops along with around 5,000 African Union troops are on the ground. EU will be sending 500 troops soon.
2-12 – Reuters – Mass grave found in Central African Republic, U.N. warns of ‘cleansing’ – One mass grave found in camp occupied by one specific side. Not necessary to mention which side because the hint I draw from this initial report is there will be more.
2-14 – The Feed /Via Meadia – UN Warns: Central Africa Republic Coming Unglued – The UN warns a religious partition of the country is a possibility. Retaliatory violence seems to be increasing, which is a very bad, sad sign.