In Mali, the West is more a part of the problem than the solution - the present situation is itself is a product of decades of western interference writes Explo Nani-Kofi
The Western countries, for now specifically France and the UK, are the boundaries of the so-called 'War On Terror' in Mali. With the disaster from the interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan one could easily assume that these warmongers would have had enough. The repercussions of their forays into Somalia, Cote d’Ivoire and Libya are still being felt, with the climate of destabilization that currently exists in those countries.
This phase of the problem started in January 2012 with the armed uprising of the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) against the Malian government, an organisation fighting for secession and an independent homeland for the Tuaregs in Northern Mali. Soldiers, who were dissatisfied with the Mali government’s handling of the situation, staged a coup d’etat on 22nd March 2012 and overthrew the government of Mali. They declared themselves the National Committee for the Restoration of Democracy and State (CNRDR).
The instability which followed the coup d’etat led to the MNLA defeating the Malian Armed Forces in the North and taking control of the major cities there. On 6th April 2012, the MNLA proclaimed Northern Mali independent under the name Azawad. A breakaway from Al Qaeda known as the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MOJWA) fought the MNLA over control of Northern Mali from 27th June to 17th July 2012 and took control from the MNLA.
Now France and the UK are, under the cover of assisting the government of Mali, supposedly assisting to 'stabilise' the situation. The history of such Western interventions have always sent things from bad to worse. In Mali, the West is more a part of the problem than the solution. The present situation is itself is a product of decades of Western interference.
Mali, under the progressive Modibo Keita, was unfortunate to be chosen as the venue of the 4th All African Peoples’ Conference, scheduled for 1964, to discuss how to carry out the struggle against neo-colonialism in Africa after the 3rd Conference in Egypt adopted a resolution on neo-colonialism in 1961. The western countries and their intelligence services stepped up their plots for destabilization in Mali as a result of this. In November 1968, these plots resulted in the overthrow of Modibo Keita’s government. This began a culture of coups d’etat.
The Western balkanization of Africa, through the Berlin Conference of 1884 – 85, where the continent was sliced up without any consideration of internal cohesion of the people of the various colonially created countries, is at the root of various calls and fights for secession in Africa.
Effects of Libya
The militancy which led to the ethnic as well as the religious-based intervention in the North is a spill over from the occupation of Libya. Al Qaeda, which is the mother organization of MOJWA, was also born through the Western intervention in Afghanistan, supposedly fighting the Soviet presence in Afghanistan so everywhere you turn the west is at the root of the mess.
From this analysis, the worst thing anybody can do is to call for further Western intervention. The Western interference and intervention must stop now. The people of Mali should be allowed to solve their problems independently.
Explo Nani-Kofi is Societal Affairs Analyst and Social Justice Practitioner. He was born in Ghana where he started his activist as a grass root organizer for popular democracy. He coordinated the Campaign Against Proxy War in Africa and the IMF-World Bank Wanted For Fraud Campaign. He is a member of Counterfire and Director of the Kilombo Centre for Civil Society and African Self-Determination, in Peki, Ghana and London, UK.