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Thread: Mali mainly, 2012 coup, drugs & more

  1. #381
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Andrew Lebovich is a SME on Mali, today his October commentary become free to read. His summary:
    Any political, security and economic arrangement to deal with Mali's crisis must be acceptable and amenable to local actors, yet international support and a regional arrangement are also necessary and inescapable.
    Link:http://www.thebrokeronline.eu/Blogs/...tional-setting
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  2. #382
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    Andrew Lebovich is a SME on Mali, now has a commentary 'Pulling Apart at the Seams: How the Smuggling and Narcotics Trade Are Helping to Reshape Governance in the Sahel':http://www.fletchersecurity.org/#!lebovich/cqvl
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  3. #383
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    Default Apaches cause peace talks to falter

    The Dutch have four Apache attack helicopters in Mali and they have fired their first shots, just as peace talks are underway in Algiers:http://af.reuters.com/article/morocc...V242Y20150123?
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  4. #384
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    Default US on duty deaths in a crash in Mali in 2012: update

    Some light on this strange incident in 2012, subject of Post 147:

    US on duty deaths in a crash in Mali Nor have events in Mali been without loss for the USA, edited down and dated 20th April 2012 (thanks to a SWC reader):
    Three American military personnel and three civilians died early Friday in a single-car crash in Mali's capital, U.S. officials said... one of the three Americans was from U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command, and the two others were assigned to U.S. Special Operations Command. The military personnel were in Mali as part of a U.S. special operations training mission that was suspended after last month's coup overthrew the country's democratically elected president.
    Link:http://www.foxnews.com/world/2012/04...in-mali-crash/
    Within a long article via Open Democracy on AFRICOM's faulty record:
    Three of the dead were American commandos. The driver, a captain nicknamed “Whiskey Dan,” was the leader of a shadowy team of operatives never profiled in the media and rarely mentioned even in government publications. One of the passengers was from an even more secretive unit whose work is often integral to Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), which conducts clandestine kill-and-capture missions overseas. Three of the others weren’t military personnel at all or even Americans. They were Moroccan women alternately described as barmaids or "prostitutes."
    The six deaths followed an April 2012 all-night bar crawl through Mali’s capital, Bamako, according to a formerly classified report by US Army criminal investigators.
    The command, for example, issued a five-sentence press release regarding those deaths in Bamako. They provided neither the names of the Americans nor the identities of the “three civilians” who perished with them. They failed to mention that the men were with the Special Operations forces, noting only that the deceased were “US military members.” For months after the crash, the Pentagon kept secret the name of Master Sergeant Trevor Bast, a communications technician with the Intelligence and Security Command...
    “It must be noted that the activities of US military forces in Mali have been very public,” Colonel Tom Davis of AFRICOM told TomDispatch in the wake of the deaths, without explaining why the commandos were still in the country a month after the United States had suspended military relations with Mali’s government. In the years since, the command has released no additional information about the episode.
    Link:https://www.opendemocracy.net/nick-t...behaving-badly

    I know from previous comments on the author, Tom Engelhardt (and presumably the co-author Nick Turse) has a strong agenda and viewpoint.
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  5. #385
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Touareg factions and a small war

    A rare UK press report on Mali, it starts with:
    The worst violence between army troops and Touareg rebels in more than a year threatens to delay long-awaited accord, due to be signed today

    (It ends with) Now, after over three years of civil war ordinary people in northern Mali are desperate for a return to security and normality, but a resolution is not yet in sight.
    Link:http://www.theguardian.com/world/201...-deal-violence
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  6. #386
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    Default What peace deal? No end to Mali conflict

    A short article, which appears not to involve being on the ground and starts with:
    More than eight weeks after a landmark peace accord between Mali’s Bamako government and a Tuareg-led rebel coalition brought hope of an end to years of unrest, little has been done to end the fighting and militancy is once again on the rise. In recent months, Mali has experienced some of the worst violence since international forces pushed Islamist militants out of their northern strongholds in January 2013.
    Link:http://www.irinnews.org/report/10188...mali-conflict?
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  8. #388
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    Initial media reports state Mali's security forces responded to the incident in a professional manner. Hopefully our SWJ members in the region will confirm or deny that report. If true, that is at least a silver lining in this dark cloud.

  9. #389
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    Default A 'Long read' and a question

    Just found this long review article and only partly read - others have been worth reading:http://www.theguardian.com/world/201...uggle-for-mali

    For the weapons experts the photo of Malian soldiers to my "armchair" level of knowledge do not appear to be carrying any ammunition, except the magazine in their AKs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    For the weapons experts the photo of Malian soldiers to my "armchair" level of knowledge do not appear to be carrying any ammunition, except the magazine in their AKs.

    Unless they've got a pouch on the left side, it looks like you're correct. Those AKs are older Chinese production, I believe.

  11. #391
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    Default The Malian Jihadi Landscape

    A podcast with Andrew Lebovich (38 min) which offers his views on:
    Some of the topics covered include:
    • The political process in Mali after the French intervention
    • Why there has been a rise in violence recently
    • Why IS has not been able to penetrate Mali like many of the other jihadi zones
    • Where things might be going from here

    Link:https://www.lawfareblog.com/jihadolo...hadi-landscape
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  12. #392
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    Default Firepower by rocket

    Since February 14, 2016, the French Army "Barkhane Force" which operates in Mali against Islamic terrorism in Africa has deployed three LRU (Lance- Roquette Unitaire - MLRS Multiple launch Rocket System) from the 1st Artillery Regiment of Belfort. This is the first operational deployment for this type of weapon since its entry into service in 2014.
    Link:http://www.armyrecognition.com/armie..._12002162.html
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  13. #393
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    Default Human Insecurity in Mali

    Human Insecurity in Mali

    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.

  14. #394
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default A forgotten war for most

    Reports from Mali are rare, so thanks to alerts from Andrew Lebovich to two reports today.

    The first report is by two lady Al-Jazeera journalists who accompanied a Nigerien patrol on a supply run:http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/fea...105547305.html

    The second, more in-depth, is from IIRC a long-term US resident in Bamako, the capital, via his website:https://bridgesfrombamako.com/2016/0...-to-the-abyss/
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 08-01-2016 at 04:38 PM. Reason: 85,882v
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  15. #395
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    Default Update: It ain't half hot Kamerad

    This War is Boring article is focused on the German Army's problems with their vehicles in the heat and dust of Mali, lus their drones and armed helicopters:http://warisboring.com/malis-desert-...ored-vehicles/

    Then it intriguingly refers to the Malian National Guard:
    The Garde’s speed and flexibility, its keeping with the principles of Sahelian warfare, combined with greater trust in Mali’s north—where the army is widely loathed—means they are today among the most effective troops in Mali’s armed forces, along with the special forces.
    According to the IISS Military Balance it has 2k, the Army 18k and there is a separate Gendarmerie.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 04-23-2017 at 09:38 PM. Reason: 112,221v 27k since jan '16
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  16. #396
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    Default Not looking good

    A short report via ECFR's website by Andrew Lebovich, a previously cited SME and his slim bio is on:http://www.ecfr.eu/profile/C387

    He is not optimistic and ends with:
    Now, having arrived at a seemingly workable framework for peace, the general response of the international community is to focus on implementation, presuming that if only the Malian government and international partners make good on the Accords’ provisions, then stability can be restored. However, this approach risks further inflaming tensions in some cases and further solidifying local rivalries and fiefdoms in others.
    Link:http://www.ecfr.eu/article/commentar...ok_beyond_7293
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 05-28-2017 at 07:56 PM. Reason: 116,751v 4.5k up in a month
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    A scrimmage in a Border Station
    A canter down some dark defile
    Two thousand pounds of education
    Drops to a ten-rupee jezail


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  18. #398
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    Default Mali: France's Afghanistan

    An intriguing comparison and hat tip to WoTR for the article. Here is one poignant phrase:
    Both the United States and France now seem stuck in intractable wars, frustrated by the apparent fruitlessness of their best efforts. The Afghan and Malian governments, moreover, bear a large portion of the responsibility for the wars’ failures.
    Link:https://warontherocks.com/2017/12/ma...-a-difference/
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 12-01-2017 at 05:59 PM. Reason: 139,977v
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  19. #399
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    Default A dozen shades of khaki: counter-insurgency operations in the Sahel

    An overview article on the various international, regional and local forces deployed in the region, the Sahel, but Mali features strongly so added here.

    I had missed this:
    Separately, Germany is shortly to open a military base in Niger to support MINUSMA, while Italy has announced it will sent 470 troops to the country to counter people-smuggling and combat extremism.
    Link:http://www.irinnews.org/analysis/201...erations-sahel

    However the author's credibility is marred by labeling the first photo as French soldiers when they are clearly from Mali.
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  20. #400
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    Default COIN in the Sahel: who are the blurred enemy?

    A brief overview of the key non-state armed actors in the region, which includes non-jihadist groups in alliance sometimes with the Mali government for example; jihadist groups and others.

    Nothing is simple:
    As well as hardcore jihadism, the ingredients of this region’s conflict dynamics also include long-standing and often violent rivalries, trafficking, and self-defence activities. Jihadist groups such as ISGS include in their ranks numerous members of Niger’s Fulani community, which has long been in conflict with Tuaregs in Mali. “Jihadist violence often intertwines with local intercommunal tensions related to competition over natural resources and trafficking, making it difficult to distinguish the real nature and motives of many incidents,” the ICG report after the October Niger attack.
    Link:http://www.irinnews.org/analysis/201...i-Niger-threat
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 02-20-2018 at 07:55 PM. Reason: 145,968v
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