‘French War Exacerbates Mali’s Internal Tensions’

To watch this TV interview with Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan-African News Wire, click here

A political commentator believes that the French military operation against Malian fighters has exacerbated the internal tensions in the resource-rich African country.

France initiated military action in Mali on January 12 to allegedly halt the advance of the rebels, who control the northern parts of the West African nation. Chaos broke out in the African country after Malian President Amadou Toumani Toure was toppled in a military coup on March 22, 2012. The coup leaders said they mounted the coup in response to the government’s inability to contain the Tuareg rebellion in the north of the country, which had been going on for two months.

Press TV has conducted an interview with Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan-African News Wire in Detroit, to further talk over the issue. What follows is an approximate transcription of the interview.

Press TV: How bad are things looking for France in Mali when even the United Nations is not willing to come onboard?

Azikiwe: The French government made a unilateral decision to enter Mali. They have been carrying out bombing operations, ground operations and in the reports emerging from the ground in Mali about numerous atrocities that have been committed, that are being attributed to the Malian military but as we know, the French are there to serve the interests of not only their own government but also in an attempt to prop up an unstable military regime that had taken power last year in Mali.

Reports coming out of Sevare indicate that 11 people recently were massacred in a military base; at least 20 other murders in the same region has been reported over the last several days and this is taking place at a time in which there are certain elements among the Tuareg population who are willing to negotiate with the Malian government to reach a political solution in this crisis.

For example, the Ansar Dine, it was just reported yesterday, has undergone a major split inside the organization and the group that has emerged, the Islamic Movement of Azawad, is willing to hold negotiations.

They in fact, met with the representatives of the Malian government in neighboring Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso.

So France, of course, has exacerbated the internal tensions inside of Mali as a result of their military operations inside the country.

Press TV: So then many people have spoken about how Mali may become France’s Afghanistan. Is that a fair comparison?

Azikiwe: It is a vast country; the Tuaregs as well as other groups inside of Mali have a long history of resistance against colonialism and neocolonialism and I do not believe that France is going to reach its objectives inside the country without a major campaign of armed unrest on the part of not only the Tuareg population but also other groups inside of Mali as well because they too are being victimized by this military onslaught.

Articles by: Abayomi Azikiwe

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