Monthly Archives: January 2013

Next, the hard bit

According to Al Jazeera, French forces have captured the airport a couple of kilometers outside Timbuktu. Footage from the network also shows a French column advancing northward near Niafunké being welcomed along the way. But the Ahmed Baba Institute has … Continue reading

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Lessons from Diabaly

After several days of contradictory reports, it’s now certain that the armed Islamist fighters who had taken over the town of Diabaly, in Mali’s central region of Segou, have departed. Events in Diabaly over the last two weeks offer useful … Continue reading

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Malian voices united (mostly)

For outsiders, among the most remarkable aspects of life in Mali is the music, the first of many things I fell in love with while living there in the late 1990s. Western journalists writing about the country’s worsening conflict this … Continue reading

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Situation report for Friday, 18 January

Today’s post offers no analysis, just some pointers and recommendations for more reading into the most recent developments in Mali. The English-language press having stepped up its coverage, most of the links below are from anglophone sources. The International Criminal … Continue reading

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Behind Mali’s conflict: myths, realities & unknowns

Since the French military intervention in Mali, known as Operation Serval, began last week, the internet has been buzzing with talk about its motives. Is France really only trying to contain a terrorist threat, as it claims? Or do major … Continue reading

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Merci François !

The military intervention launched in Mali by French President François Hollande, known as Operation Serval, began Thursday, 10 January. Its stated mission is to push back the advance of Islamist forces and assure the security of France’s 6000 citizens in the … Continue reading

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Barbarians at the gates

Mali has been swirling with rumors of an Islamist offensive since Sunday 6 January, when panicked posts on Facebook reported dozens of pickups full of heavily armed militants advancing on the town of Mopti, and contended that nearby Sévaré (home … Continue reading

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An ka wili

Tiken Jah Fakoly, a well-known reggae artist who’s been based in Bamako’s Niamakoro neighborhood for the past several years, just released a single entitled “An ka wili” or “Let us rise up,” urging Malians to unite against the Islamists who … Continue reading

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