World View: Mali, Libya, Egypt, Syria Governments in Sharp Deterioration
This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com
- Britain reverses direction, will send hundreds of troops to Mali
- Malians in Timbuktu cheer French troops but seek ethnic revenge
- U.N. warns that Mali's jihadists threaten Libya's stability
- Egypt's army chief warns that widespread unrest could cause 'state collapse'
- Lakhdar Brahimi says that Syria is 'breaking up before everyone's eyes'
Malians in Timbuktu cheer French troops but seek ethnic revenge
Malians cheer the arrival of French troops in Timbuktu (Reuters)
French and Malian troops regained control of Timbuktu on Monday and
were greeted by local residents with broad smiles and wild cheers.
However, ethnic tensions are rising, as black-skinned Malians are
seeking revenge against light-skinned ethnic Tuaregs and "Arabs," who
are blamed for the jihadist horrors that the Malians suffered.
Because of reports of looting and targeting of civilians in newly
liberated areas, France is in favor of rapidly deploying "international
observers" to ensure that human rights are respected in Mali. It's
unclear to me what "international observers" means, but I suspect it
implies troops from other non-African countries who won't take side in
Mali's ethnic battles.
France's president François Hollande is
calling for additional troops from African nations so that France can
reduce its own commitment, which is becoming increasingly unpopular at home. France 24
Britain reverses direction, will send hundreds of troops to Mali
Just two weeks ago, Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron said that
no British troops would be sent to join France's soldiers in Mali, but
now Cameron is flying to Algeria to underline his brand new
commitment to send hundreds of British troops to Mali and the region.
Britain's defense minister denies that this is "mission creep," as the
troops will be used for training Malian forces:
It is not our intention to deploy combat troops. We
are very clear about the risk of mission creep and we have defined
very carefully the support we are willing and able to provide to
the French and the Malian authorities.
We have an absolute duty to intervene wherever there is a threat
to Britain's national security and the security of Britain's
interests around the world and this is exactly such a case. This
is a well-judged, well-leveraged intervention that will deliver
efficiently a result that is in Britain's national
However, one opposition leader says that Mali could become
Britain's Vietnam: "The American catastrophe in Vietnam started off with
American troops in a training capacity."
Britain's announcement follows by one day the American military's
announcement that it plans to set up a drone base in Niger on the Mali
border along with 300 troops. Guardian (London) and Telegraph (London)
U.N. warns that Mali's jihadists threaten Libya's stability
An unintended consequence of the West's military intervention in
Libya in 2011 is that, when it ended, hardened Tuareg and
al-Qaeda linked jihadist rebels fled to Mali and took control of the
northern two-thirds of the nation. Now, with French and Malian
troops driving the rebels out of the major cities in northern
Mali, the United Nations is concerned that they'll return to
Libya and destabilize that country:
The opposition of armed radical groups to the
military intervention in Mali may exacerbate the situation (in
Libya) given ideological and/or ethnic affiliations as well as
porous borders in Libya.
Egypt's army chief warns that widespread unrest could cause 'state collapse'
On Tuesday, protesters continued to ignore evening a curfew order
broadcast on Sunday by president Mohamed Morsi, calling the situation
a "state of emergency." Protests between Islamists on the one hand
and secularists and liberals on the other hand have been growing more
raucous each week. Egypt's defense minister / army chief, General
Abdel Fattah al-Sissi, says that failure to resolve the situation
"could lead to grave repercussions" and would threaten Egypt's
The continuing conflict between political forces and
their differences concerning the management of the country could
lead to a collapse of the state and threaten future
Al-Ahram (Cairo) and Al-Jazeera
Lakhdar Brahimi says that Syria is 'breaking up before everyone's eyes'
The United Nations / Arab League envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi,
told the Security Council on Tuesday that extreme horrors are
destabilizing Syria and threatening contamination in neighboring
countries. The warning comes a day after a shocking new massacre
was discovered in Aleppo, with 79 bodies pulled from the river.
Unprecedented levels of horror have been reached. The
tragedy does not have an end.
I'm sorry if I sound like an old broken record. The country is
breaking up before everyone's eyes. Only the international
community can help and first and foremost the Security
Since the beginning of the Syrian conflict, Russia and China have
repeatedly blocked any Security Council resolutions threatening
sanctions, and those vetoes are unlikely to change. Brahimi
added the risk of contamination is another reason why action
Most regional parties have aligned with one of the
parties in Syria. There might be implications if the crisis
continues spiraling. The refugee flow is becoming a matter of
controversy in these countries.
Syria is becoming a playground for competing forces.
None of the neighbors is immune to the fallout consequences of the
conflict. The region is facing the risk of
Israeli Air Force Commander Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel warned Tuesday that
Syria is falling apart and no one knows what the next day may bring:
“War may not break out tomorrow,” he said, “but we stand ready for any
eventuality.” Telegraph (London) and Debka
KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Britain, David Cameron, Algeria, Mali,
Vietnam, Timbuktu, France, François Hollande,
Egypt, Mohamed Morsi, Abdel Fattah al-Sissi,
Syria, United Nations, Arab League, Lakhdar Brahimi,
Russia, China, Israel
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