Mali

Looking For Cocaine Terrorists: The 2009 US Drugs Sting in Mali.

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This story originally appeared in Maghreb Politics Review on December 21, 2009, as “US Arrests Malians in Terror Drugs ‘Link'”. The claim that Al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, and the FARC are part of a worldwide drugs for terror conspiracy remains active in American press and government, and remains a fantasy that meets the internal needs of the US, while ignoring real issues, like those that precipitated the unexpected collapse of the Malian state in 2012.

On Western analysts and the Mali Conflict, April 2012

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An excerpt from a letter written in 2012. “Two histories are now being written, each a litany of crimes and humiliations suffered, neither accepted as even having occurred by the other. …if privileged western analysts — however innocently — repeat propaganda of one side as ‘the background’ to this conflict, they help determine the outcome.”

Death and Career in the “Dark” Sahara: The Sad Fate of Jeremy Keenan

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People who don’t know much about northern Mali would be very poorly served by reading Keenan’s increasingly odd writing. Keenan used to be a scholar of some note. But his increasingly unhinged supposition that their hidden hands are behind all that is bad in the west-central Saharan region is simply unsupportable. Why it remains unchallenged is the mystery.

Niger, Mali: Hunger, famine or both

Kidal Region dead herds

Hopefully by now everyone knows that parts of West Africa, especially pockets of Chad and Niger, are struggling with the worst food shortages since 2005. Alex Thurston reports that international humanitarian agencies, as well as increasingly concerned governments, are now…

Niger: Another kidnap in the north

The French press is reporting that a French tourist and an Algerian guide were kidnapped by armed men today in northern Niger, near the well at In-Abangaret. Also spelled Inabangaret, it’s a stopping place on the Azzouagh plain’s Tahoua/Assamakka/Tama…

AQIM: More hostage stories

Philomène Kaboré and her husband Sergio Cicala have given interviews regarding their captivity: she having been released some time ago, and he Friday the 16th. They were taken in Mauritania, near the border with Mali, on…