It is high time to clear up the confusion regarding the situation in Mali. Thanks to David S. J. Borelli, Mathaba readers can now have a clear insight into one of the lesser-known but most crucial conspiracies being hatched to plunder African resources in the heart of Africa.

Independent analysis by David S. J. Borelli.

Foreign intervention in Mali: Analysis of facts, geopolitical and historical background to Mali helps understand the recent attempts at destabilization by outside powers for illegitimate and criminal aims.

Before anything else, a little history is necessary to understand clearly & objectively the situation in Mali & to do this, it is not necessary to go far back in time:

Voyage to the country of Modibo Keita…

Amadou Toumani Touré, is the Malian officer credited somewhat as the liberator of Mali, popularly known as "ATT". He led to the overthrow of the bloody dictator Moussa Traoré in March 1991 (the one that ordered the bloodiest repression against the Tuareg rebellion). A strong force since his coup against Modibo Keita in 1968, ATT led the Comité Transitoire pour le Salut du Peuple [Transitional Committee for the People's Welfare] (CTSP), which was established to ensure a governance transition to the adoption of a new constitution by referendum in January 12, 1992 & organizing the first multiparty elections in Mali in April of the same year won by Konare, former minister in the government Traoré.

During the transition period, which lasted a good year, led by the CSTP, ATT made his way to attempt reconciliation with the North & Mali finally established peace in the country: 11 April 1992 the 'National Pact' was signed by the government and the principal rebel leaders, an umbrella group of Tuareg rebels created by the CSTP. The Pact provided for the economic regeneration of the North, national reconciliation initiatives, decentralization and integration of Tuaregs into the military and civilian structures. Peace lasted for some time, but despite many local & national as well as real efforts on the part of different communities, hardly disturbed by the attempted coup of Colonel Diallo in December 1993, the dramatic devaluation of the CFA franc led to a significant increase in the cost of living and led to demonstrations & much unrest throughout the country, and tensions erupted in the north between the different communities: the settled Songhai, the Tuareg tribes and the Arabs.

Henceforth arose the infamous Koi Ganda Patriotic Movement (MPGK) formed by Songhai Mali militia & violence resumed despite the efforts of all: this time Azawad faced internal problems in concentrated parts of the North where in 1995 the Accords of Bourem brought about by some Libyan 'conciliators', were signed by the MPGK and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Azawad (FPLA), composed mainly of Tuareg & some Arabs. These agreements would mark a significant breakthrough in the nascent internal abscesses in defusing ethnic tensions, the North finally calmed down.

On 27 March 1996, again under the leadership & guidance of Libyan emissaries, the ceremony of the Flame of Peace was held in Timbuktu: hundreds of firearms were destroyed by fire, the various armed movements of the Tuareg and the MPGK would be officially dissolved. Peace reigned over Mali and after a re-election of Konaré in 1997, Amadou Toumani Touré (ATT) was elected president.

The one who released Mali from the clutches of Moussa Traoré, and had brought Mali forward as head of of the transitional (CSTP), despite his withdrawal from political life, tasted the presidency of his country. Following a good agreement with neighbouring Libya & through Libya's program of assistance to countries in the region, the decree introducing the Agence de Développement du Nord Mali [Development Agency of Northern Mali] (DNA) was passed: it gave priority to investment and development in the regions of Gao, Timbuktu and Kidal in the north of the country. In gratitude for his mediation during the various stages of the peace process in northern Mali, as well as respect for the Libyan leader, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, was among the guests of honor of the festival of Maouloud in Timbuktu in April 2006, which commemorates the birth of the Prophet Muhammed. The following month the garrisons of Kidal and Menaka were attacked by a new rebel movement, the Alliance Démocratique pour le Changement du 23 mai [May 23 Democratic Alliance for Change] (ADC). After two months of fighting, on 4 July 2006, primarily Algeria & Libya mediated the Algiers Accords (Agreement) which were signed by the Malian government and the ADC. The peace agreement focused on security and economic growth in Kidal, the eighth region of Mali and the furthest from the capital, which was part of the ADC rebellion two months earlier.

In April 2007, ATT was re-elected, but his victory was contested by the other candidates. A month later, violence continued again in the North following the rejection by the Niger-Mali Tuareg Alliance (ATNM) of the Algiers Accords. The ATNM continued its operations in the North, attacking garrisons and removing Malian soldiers under the command of Ibrahim Ag Bahanga. (Remember this name). In November 2007, probably feeling the winds of change, the former Tuareg head, Iyad Ag Ghali, oddly joined the Malian consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

In February 2009, Bamako led a successful campaign against the insurgency in the north. This was reflected in particular by the dismantling of the rebel military bases, but it generated a strong opposition among some Tuareg communities, who complained increasingly of being abused by government troops. In February 2009, still under the same mediations as the ceremony of the Flame of Peace of Timbuktu held in 1996, the peace ceremony in Kidal included the surrender of hundreds of weapons by Tuareg rebels and new developments for their integration in the armed forces, but the fighters of Bahanga did not participate in the peace process.

In November 2010, again in the person of the Libyan Guide (Mu'ammar Al-Gaddafi), a meeting was held in Timbuktu which hosted mainly Northern Tuareg and concluded with the creation of the National Movement of Azawad (MNA), which rejected all violence & called for a spirit of solidarity of Azawadis throughout Mali as well as abroad. In February 2011, shortly before the outbreak of the Libyan 'revolution' -- revolution only in name (see the recent revelations of Zied Takieddine and of Silvio Berlusconi about it), ATT spoke during a ceremony near Kidal and announced a major new program for the North, proposing solutions for the urgent restoration of peace and security, and helping young people to find work and to escape 'illegal and dangerous activities'. Unimpressed, the Tuareg spokesman Hama Ag Sid Ahmed warned: "For many years, we have tried to reopen dialogue with the central authorities. We note that nothing changes on the ground".

Six months after the ceremony in Kidal, ATT, supported by aid funds & investment of the Libyan Jamahiriya (which were assigned to the project and had been happily transferred to Mali before the freezing of Libyan assets) launched the Programme Spécial pour la Paix, la sécurité et le Développement au Nord-Mali (PSPDN) [Special Programme for peace, security and development in Northern Mali] with a budget of 32 billion CFA francs ($ 65 million), which focused on projects related to security, development, women, youth and income generation. The program received support from the European Union (EU), the World Bank, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and other donors. The program is led by Mohamed Ag Erlaf, a Tuareg native of Kidal.

This is a little over a year and a half ago.

(To be continued)
Mali: Chronology of a Programmed Destabilization - Part 1