I'm Mali, So Mali Author: velveeta jonesDate:01/27/2013 15:44:05
Where is this Mali place? Velveeta thinks it sounds like a lovely spot to vacate; filled with quietly whispering palm trees overlooking a clear blue ocean rolling over white sands and gentle sloping mountains in the background. Ah, please, ask the Señor to bring Miss Velveeta a fruity cocktail in a coconut, but not with actual coconut in the contents. Strawberries perhaps. Thank you.
What? Mali is in a desert, and landlocked? Ew.
It seems Mali is having a bit of a conflict; over a bunch of land that seems overly barren and sad, but whatever floats your boat, I say. I'll try to break it down for you as best I can.
Seems the country has been at odds for quite awhile; at least since the Summer of Love (the one we had here in the USA, not sure if the Grateful Dead and the Byrds ever travelled to Mali) over the northern section of the country which they call Azawad. I know what you're thinking! Sadly, Azawad is not accepted in Words With Friends.
Back in 1990s the Tuareg and Arab nomads formed the "Mouvement Populaire de l’Azaouad/Azawad People’s Movement" (MPA) and declared war for independence of this boring piece of land which borders Algeria. To calm things down, Mali tried to integrate the Tuareg fighters into the military of Mali but soon their dissatisfaction led to new fighting in 2007 even though there was a peace agreement. Some of the rebels started a new movement "National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad" and joined up with Islamist groups Ansar Dine and Al-Qaeda.The Islamists didn't really care about control of the land as much as they wanted all of Mali to be under sharia law. Typical.
In March of last year the rebels overthrew the President, Amadou Toumani Touré in a coup and installed a military officer in charge. This new guy suspended the Constitution. Is this all beginning to sound like a bunch of High School girl cliques? Oh, no you di'int!
To make matters worse, the coup d'état wasn't exactly popular with, among others, the UN Security Council, the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the latter of which said that the new man in charge had 72 hours to relinquish control before Mali's borders would be closed by its neighbors, and its assets would be frozen by the West African Economic and Monetary Union. Since Mali is dependent on support - this was bad news indeed. National Assembly of Mali Speaker Diouncounda Traoré was put in charge and said he would kick ass on the rebels.
However, by April 2012 the Northern land was completely taken by the rebels and declared the Independent State of Azawad and sharia law began (thanks to teaming up with Islamists).
Now the French are totally involved in this bruhaha and we are quickly being pulled in. Earlier this month a group of militants had crossed the border from Mali into Algeria and had captured an Algerian/Statoil/BP-owned natural gas field, In Aménas, near the border with Libya. Damn oil... I swear it'll be our downfall one way or another. The militants were reported to have killed two foreign nationals and were holding 41 foreign nationals hostage, and a spokesman for the group said that the purpose of the attack was to get revenge on the countries that had intervened in Mali. The hostages included several American, Japanese, British, Romanian, and Norwegian citizens. On 19 January, 11 militants and 7 hostages were killed in a final assault to end the standoff. In addition, 16 foreign hostages were freed, including 2 Americans, 2 Germans, and 1 Portuguese.
Thankfully, I've come up with a plan to solve this crisis. The French are already involved, it's too late for them, but we can still save ourselves. If we could all update our status' on facebook and get our friends to help out, we could end this thing! Lets spread rumors about the different groups to get them to break alliances and all fight amongst themselves. This will keep us involved, but at a super safe distance! Post things like, "I hear that Ansar Dine are turning over a new leaf; saw many of them carrying Bibles and holding hands with their wives according to MNLA." Also, "Chad says the MOJWA is slutty".