Politics & Society

Articles broadly about politics, international affairs, society

The sandstorm of war in northern Mali

The situation along the demarcation line that separates Islamist-held northern Mali from the south of the country is agonizingly confusing. How can we look through the sandstorm that surrounds the current Islamist advance south towards Mopti and the Malian heartlands.

Ansar ud-Dine speak out…at last!

Iyad Ag Ghali - Leader of Ansar ud-Dine

Ansar ud-Dine speak up…at last! The Touareg lead mujahedeen group currently controlling large tracts of northern Mali have finally posted their ‘Political Platform’, on their website. It’s one of the most illuminating and troubling documents that I’ve read so far during this entire crisis.

Algeria plays a master’s game in northern Mali

A few days ago, the pro-Azawad website Toumast Press reported that Algerian army personnel were in Gao training fighters belonging to Ansar ud-Dine and MUJAO,  the Islamist militia who recently drove the Touareg separatist  MNLA from the city.  They also reported that the Algerians have been sending heavy weaponry to the city under the guise…

Have we seen the last of One Eyed Jack?

Since the accords between the NMLA and Ansar Eddine were rejected by the NMLA political leadership at the end of May, it’s been fascinating, if not painful, to watch the contortions of the NMLA leadership as they attempted to accommodate Ansar Eddine, a movement with which they had plenty in common ethnically, but very little ideologically or strategically.

GADDAFI AND THE TOUAREG – Love, hate and petro-dollars

Gaddafi

Gaddafi has been buying the affections and fighting skills of the nomadic tribes of the Sahara for a long time. Despite widespread suspicion that Gaddafi only ever helped the Touareg to further his own territorial schemes, many Touareg fear the consequences of his fall from power.