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Thread: Mali mainly, 2012 coup, drugs & more

  1. #341
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Confidence building - slowly, very slowly

    Ganulv,

    The official UN "line" regarding use of the French troops appears to be:
    By other terms of the resolution (resolution 2100 of 25 April 2013 ), the Security Council authorized MINUSMA to use all necessary means to carry out its mandate as set out in paragraphs 16 (a) (i) and (ii), 16 (c) (i) and (iii), 16 (e), 16 (f) and 16 (g). It also authorized French troops deployed in Mali to use all necessary means to intervene in support of elements of MINUSMA when under imminent and serious threat upon request of the Secretary-General.
    Link:http://www.un.org/en/peacekeeping/mi.../mandate.shtml

    The Mission TOR are:
    The Mission has been asked to support the transitional authorities of Mali in the stabilization of the country and implementation of the transitional roadmap, focusing on major population centres and lines of communication, protecting civilians, human rights monitoring, the creation of conditions for the provision of humanitarian assistance and the return of displaced persons, the extension of State authority and the preparation of free, inclusive and peaceful elections.
    Link:http://www.un.org/en/peacekeeping/mi...ma/index.shtml

    Elsewhere I have read that all the actual troops, police and others are not expected to be in place before December 2013. A Chinese PLA contingent has been pledged, but an official news agency report stressed it had no offensive role and the combat element would protect camps etc.

    The key word is, with my emphasis 'The Mission has been asked to support the transitional authorities of Mali...'

    The UN of course are resolute:
    This is not an anti-terrorist operation but of course the mandate has an element of real robustness in it and of course we are in a position to use all necessary means to defend ourselves and of course to defend the mandate...
    From:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-afri...twitter_africa

    We shall no doubt learn how 'robust' this mission is.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 07-01-2013 at 06:27 PM.
    davidbfpo

  2. #342
    Council Member ganulv's Avatar
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    Default

    Thanks for passing all of this along, Dave.

    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    We shall no doubt learn how 'robust' this mission is.
    The election deadline seems impossibly optimistic/foolhardy to me, but what do I know?
    If you don’t read the newspaper, you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed. – Mark Twain (attributed)

  3. #343
    Council Member M-A Lagrange's Avatar
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    Ganulv,

    Without being as detail as David, what I have understood is:
    - The African troops go under UN command.
    - The French remain with a separate command to support the UN until all French troops are gone.

    This looks simple on paper but I am sure this will en up in a complex mess on the ground, no one knowing who is responding to who and who is commanding what.

  4. #344
    Council Member ganulv's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by M-A Lagrange View Post
    Ganulv,

    Without being as detail as David, what I have understood is:
    - The African troops go under UN command.
    - The French remain with a separate command to support the UN until all French troops are gone.

    This looks simple on paper but I am sure this will en up in a complex mess on the ground, no one knowing who is responding to who and who is commanding what.
    I wonder if ONUCI is seen as something of a model for all this?
    If you don’t read the newspaper, you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed. – Mark Twain (attributed)

  5. #345
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default

    A special issue 'Region in Crisis: Stabilizing Mali and the Sahel' from 'Stability' an e-journal on Mali:http://www.stabilityjournal.org/coll...current_page=0

    Some interesting subjects covered, including 'Lessons from the African Union Mission for Somalia (AMISOM) for Peace Operations in Mali' and logistics. Yet to be read here.

    Who are they?
    Stability is an open-access and peer-reviewed journal. It cultivates research and analysis, makes it available free of charge and without delay. Its content combines the best of academic research with insights from policy-makers and practitioners for a tangible impact.
    davidbfpo

  6. #346
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Drone shot-down: it's a mystery?

    An unidentified drone is detected flying inside Mali, then shot down inside Mali and SOF inserted to collect all the debris. No-one says whose drone it is - so far.

    Ah you ask, who possibly would do this? Well according to this report, Algeria:http://avicennesy.wordpress.com/2013...-au-nord-mali/

    This is a rather odd incident if true. Why would Algeria shoot down a (US) drone over Mali?
    davidbfpo

  7. #347
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Default From Ground Zero

    David,
    Based on what we have been told (need to be careful with that statement lately), Algeria is one of the top three for drone deployments against what is now called a "security threat".

    Sorry, but no SOF teams... just a bunch of soldiers leaving and blue helmets coming in from all over creation.

    Regards, Stan
    If you want to blend in, take the bus

  8. #348
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Apparently the Algerians first noted drone activity in the south in 2004, partly as "facilitators" were not very discreet in transit.

    More recently there has been the traffic between the refugee camps around Tindouf, for the Sahrwis (from former Spanish Sahara), where the appeal of their Marxist-Leninist leadership has diminished for some of the younger generation and the appeal of the insurgents / bandits across the Sahel has had an impact.

    General background:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sahrawi_people

    As one observer explained there are no border in the Sahel, it is a three day journey in a modern vehicle. Note the Sahrwis are not Tuareg's.
    davidbfpo

  9. #349
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Perhaps this is the answer?

    The American missions have not been without incident. On April 9, one of the drones crashed in a remote part of northern Mali, presumably because of a mechanical failure. “It was a total loss,” one Air Force officer said of the wreckage.
    Link:http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/11/wo...&smid=tw-share

    The Algerians responding of course to assist with security and returning any wreckage recovered.

    Quite different from being shot down!
    davidbfpo

  10. #350
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Default Drone Crash Database

    Never thought something like this website existed

    Seems drones are not that successful !
    If you want to blend in, take the bus

  11. #351
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    Default Hei Stan,

    Carl addressed this topic earlier this year (post):

    I don't know if it is fear mongering or not, but the article [link] serves a useful purpose, to highlight the fact that drones crash a lot. They can't help but crash a lot given the limited view of the world the drivers have, the lag time between control input and response, what appears to me (viewing from the outside) to be limited control response, they are underpowered and the drivers have zero kinesthetic (sic) feedback. They are going to be crashing a lot until all those things are fixed.

    And of course sometimes they decide to go walkabout. I'll never forget the bemused look on the face of a battle captain once. I asked him what was up and he said "The drone." "Oh yeah. Where's it going?" "We don't know exactly, but it's on its way."
    For your listening pleasure - Wormphlegm - Epejumalat monet tesse muinen palveltin caucan ja lesse - "Finnish Drone Funeral Doom".

    Regards

    Mike

    PS 1: the article mentioned by Carl and first linked by David in a prior post, mentions the website you found:

    "The drone industry constantly talks up the supposed economic benefits of unmanned drones, but it is the civil liberties and safety implications that need real attention," said Chris Cole, who set up watchdog website Drone Wars UK.
    Then at:

    http://dronewarsuk.wordpress.com/

    Now at:

    http://dronewars.net/

    PS 2: I had to look up the song title - Epejumalat monet tesse muinen palveltin caucan ja lesse - at link:

    The song title is a phrase in archaic Finnish taken from Mikael Agricola’s “Epäjumalien luettelo” (The List of False Gods). In modern Finnish the phrase means “Epäjumalat monet tässä muinoin palveltiin kaukana ja läsnä” which roughly translates to “The many false gods listed here were once worshipped here and there” in English.
    The song evidences beyond all doubt (reasonable or otherwise) the inherent cheerfulness of the Finnish People.
    Last edited by jmm99; 07-11-2013 at 09:23 PM.

  12. #352
    Council Member bourbon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stan View Post
    Never thought something like this website existed

    Seems drones are not that successful !
    Drones will crash, we should expect this; we should be deploying cheaper drones and more of them. I think we are looking at drones too much like manned aircraft.
    “[S]omething in his tone now reminded her of his explanations of asymmetric warfare, a topic in which he had a keen and abiding interest. She remembered him telling her how terrorism was almost exclusively about branding, but only slightly less so about the psychology of lotteries…” - Zero History, William Gibson

  13. #353
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Salvage

    I suspect that the Algerians reportedly entered Mali to recover the debris for a variety of reasons, including that shared enemies didn't get any wreckage and so earn credit or cash with other "interested parties". Plus of course for Algeria some "kudos" with the USA, diplomacy needs trade.

    In the absence of a fully functioning state in Mali "those who can, do".
    davidbfpo

  14. #354
    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmm99 View Post
    Carl addressed this topic earlier this year (post):

    I should add something to that. The quality of weather forecasting depends somewhat on the number of weather reporting staions you have. In parts of Africal the reporting stations can be very few and very far apart. So for large areas and I means areas hundreds of miles long, it is mostly a guess. That was the case in Congo. The Sahara might be the same or worse. In that case you are launching a good surveilance platform but marginal airplane into the near unknown. Problems can ensue.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

  15. #355
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Catch up on Mali

    Only if you have a Twitter account though.

    Thomas Fessy, the BBC World Service's correspondent for the Sahel, answered questions earlier today; search via #bbcfessy or #bbcmali.

    There is a French report on some polling results:http://www.jeuneafrique.com/Article/...-pour-ibk.html
    davidbfpo

  16. #356
    Council Member ganulv's Avatar
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    Default Second round of elections.

    The second round of elections in Mali is underway today. Here is a link to the Al Jazeera piece; a round-up of French language pieces may be found here.
    If you don’t read the newspaper, you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed. – Mark Twain (attributed)

  17. #357
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    A commentary on the first round in the elections, the second round of voting is today:http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/news/the...ng-itself.aspx
    davidbfpo

  18. #358
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    Default The 2012-2013 Mali Conflict: Considerations on the Human Battlespace and Strategic Ou

    The 2012-2013 Mali Conflict: Considerations on the Human Battlespace and Strategic Outcomes

    Entry Excerpt:



    --------
    Read the full post and make any comments at the SWJ Blog.
    This forum is a feed only and is closed to user comments.

  19. #359
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default A Handbook on Mali's 2012-2013 Crisis

    A short fifty-one page document, published by Northwestern University; the authors being Alexander Thurston and Andrew Lebovich:http://www.bcics.northwestern.edu/do...n-Lebovich.pdf

    One wonders if the intelligence agencies supplied such a helpful briefing when Mali came to the fore?

    This Handbook provides resources that help explain and contextualize the intersecting crises that destabilized Mali in 2012-2013. These crises included a rebellion by Tuareg separatists, a coup by junior officers, and violence carried out by Muslim militants. In addition to an overview of the crisis, the Handbook contains historical timelines, demographic information, glossaries of individuals and movements, translated documents, and maps. Interspersed throughout the text are
    narratives offering historical background on past rebellions in Mali, as well as information about contemporary Malian society and detailed sections analyzing the actors in the 2012-2013 crisis. For novice observers of Mali, the Handbook serves as an introduction to the country. For veteran
    analysts, the Handbook represents an important reference guide. At the end of the Handbook, a bibliography lists both scholarly works on Mali and resources for continued coverage of events there. By presenting Mali's past and present in their complexity, the Handbook casts doubt on
    reductionist narratives about the conflict and gestures toward the nuance and sophistication necessary to understanding this country and its problems.
    Something to peruse another day.
    davidbfpo

  20. #360
    Council Member ganulv's Avatar
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    A suicide attack Wednesday claimed the lives of two Chadian peacekeepers near the Algerian border in Tessalit. Radio France Internationale reports Ould Badi as claiming responsibility for the attack.

    A military operation was commenced, or at least announced, yesterday. The New York Times reports that the operation will be sweeping the Niger Loop, which seems a large swath of territory given the available French + MINUSMA personnel.
    If you don’t read the newspaper, you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed. – Mark Twain (attributed)

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