Gilbert Mercier on Progressive Radio Network: Mali May Become Africa’s Afghanistan
As the United States prepared to assist France in its war in Mali, News Junkie Post Editor in Chief Gilbert Mercier spoke to Utrice Leid of PRN’s Leid Stories on the geopolitics of this military adventure. Despite the great breadth of the topic, Mercier explained clearly and succintly the history of the region, its unstable national boundaries, and the forces at play in the current conflict.
According to Mercier, “Mali has… the potential to turn into an African and Middle-Eastern Afghanistan, but bigger. Much bigger, because it involves a regional situation. It has to be put into the context of what’s going on elsewhere, not only in Africa but also in the Middle East. It has to be put in the context of NATO’s intervention in Libya last year and the toppling of Gaddafi using Islamists. And… there’s definitely a little bit of rivalry here between France, the former colonial power of Mali and most of West Africa, and the U.S., and of course, the new major player in the region, which is China.”
“The Tuaregs have fought one war after another for their independence for years…. The captain who is part of the Malian triumvirate right now — his name is Captain Sanogo — was actually trained by AFRICOM, and he is the one who did a coup against President Toure in March 2012…. The coup has made the Malian army very very weak and split…. Either willingly or unwillingly, AFRICOM has created a mess…. The French are actually acting to defend their own interests, which, as I have written in an article in News Junkie Post, is about resource, mainly uranium, because 75 percent of France’s energy relies on nuclear energy, and the key to nuclear energy is, of course, a uranium source…. The French action… is all sugar coated under the name… of ‘war on terror’. But there’s a huge contradiction here because the Islamists that they are fighting in Northern Mali, they actually used them in Libya to topple Gaddafi, and they are using them now in Syria to topple Assad.”
Listen to the complete interview for a better understanding of the repercussions for Mali of Gaddafi’s fall in Libya, the degeneration of the Malian military from the machinations of AFRICOM and France, and the interests of the Tuaregs, Islamists, France, the U.S. and Qatar in the conflict.
Editor’s Note: All photographs by Pan African News Wire.