Category Archives: Uncategorized

Kicking the foreigners out

Amid the recent hype over Donald Trump’s xenophobic rhetoric in the US, the anniversary of a landmark crackdown on unwanted foreigners has quietly slipped past. 20 years ago this week, police broke down the doors of the Eglise Saint-Bernard in … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | 13 Comments

Is Mali heading back to the abyss?

July was a bad month for Mali. On the 12th, government security forces fired on unarmed demonstrators in Gao, killing three. The protestors were denouncing the establishment of interim local authorities–a provision of the peace accord signed in June 2015, … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | 8 Comments

Getting a read on Serval

From January 2013 through July 2014, the French military carried out on Malian territory a vast intervention codenamed OpĂ©ration Serval. It has been reputed to be the largest unilateral overseas deployment of France’s armed forces since the Algerian war ended … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 12 Comments

Terror comes to Mali’s capital, again

Why the Radisson? Bamako’s Radisson Blu hotel was a natural target for terrorists. There is just a handful of luxury hotels in Bamako, and the Radisson Blu is the only one whose name touts its Western ownership. There are no … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | 7 Comments

Uncomfortable truths about Mali

Some may recall a candid speech from a French diplomat in July 2012 about Mali and its neighbors. It was delivered by Laurent Bigot, then France’s top diplomat for West Africa. Bigot’s candor got him fired, but earned him a … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

How to get filthy rich in sinking Africa

When a government gets serious about fighting corruption, certain effects quickly become visible. As a New York Times article showed last week in the case of Nigeria, once President Buhari’s crackdown got underway a few months ago, the people who’d … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Writing the Afropolis

Ryan Skinner’s Bamako Sounds is undoubtedly the most intelligent book I’ve read about contemporary Bamako in general, and its music scene in particular. It’s an important work, less for what it says about a given set of musical styles than … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Keep Peace Corps out of Mali

Although I’d hoped to take a break from this blog over the summer, I’ve been watching recent events in Mali with a growing sense of alarm. Below is a list of some notable terrorist incidents in parts of Mali that … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 31 Comments

Who wants peace in Mali?

“We should not be misled by talk of entering a time of peace. Peace is not the absence of war; it is the absence of the rumors of war, the threats of war, the preparations for war….” – Gil Scott … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Desperate for a way out

“A tragedy of epic proportions” — that’s how the International Organization for Migration describes what’s been happening to the migrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean this year. On the African continent, while instability and economic stagnation have driven thousands of … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | 18 Comments