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Debates Forum

  1. Donation rwingett
    Ming the Merciless
    08 Apr '12 01:30
    So certain junior officers in Mali stage a coup because the government was supposedly not supporting their efforts against the Tuareg separatist movement sufficiently. Ironically, the coup created enough confusion and uncertainty in the capital of Bamako that the rebels were able to take advantage of the situation and overrun all of northeastern Mali. They have now proclaimed the independent state of Azawad.

    Ideologically, I am predisposed to support every separatist, or independence, movement. The question, though, is whether the western powers will be so inclined. Or will the fact that Azawad is rumored to be a haven for "terrorists" be sufficient to doom their nascent effort in state building? Given that almost all African countries are artificial creations of their former colonial masters, should separatist movements, like that of the Tuaregs in Azawad, be supported, or would it be better to support the maintenance of these artificial entities in the name of peace and stability?
  2. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Poor Filipov :,(
    08 Apr '12 02:21
    Coup's over.

    http://edition.cnn.com/2012/04/06/world/africa/mali-unrest/index.html
  3. Donation rwingett
    Ming the Merciless
    08 Apr '12 02:43
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    Coup's over.

    http://edition.cnn.com/2012/04/06/world/africa/mali-unrest/index.html
    Yes, the coup is over, but Azawad still exists. At least for now.
  4. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Poor Filipov :,(
    08 Apr '12 02:48 / 3 edits
    Geographically seems like a natural dividing point. Mali is weirdly shaped.

    Ethnic conflict seems to be between Tuareg Berbers and southern Black Africans. In Libya the Tuareg unlike other Berbers supported Qaddafi.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/09/04/us-libya-tuaregs-idUSTRE7831T720110904

    "For the [Libyan] rebels, the blacks and Tuaregs are all pro-Gaddafi and they don't hesitate to shoot at them."
  5. 08 Apr '12 04:17
    Originally posted by rwingett
    So certain junior officers in Mali stage a coup because the government was supposedly not supporting their efforts against the Tuareg separatist movement sufficiently. Ironically, the coup created enough confusion and uncertainty in the capital of Bamako that the rebels were able to take advantage of the situation and overrun all of northeastern Mali. They ...[text shortened]... er to support the maintenance of these artificial entities in the name of peace and stability?
    I would say it depends on whether this is a case of a smaller tribal groups area being trapped within a larger imperialist creation or whether it is an expansion of one tribal group onto the historical tribal land of another.

    But given the reported political and religious affiliations of the newly created state this may not carry the weight that it should.
  6. 08 Apr '12 08:14
    Originally posted by rwingett
    Given that almost all African countries are artificial creations of their former colonial masters, should separatist movements, like that of the Tuaregs in Azawad, be supported, or would it be better to support the maintenance of these artificial entities in the name of peace and stability?
    All countries are 'artificial entities'. All countries will have citizens who have relatives in other countries, and minorities and other such.
    I do no think that the history of colonial division is sufficient reason to support redrawing the lines. I come from Zambia which has its own separist movement. However any such actual separation would not really benefit the people, only possibly the politicians involved.
    I personally think that counties themselves are wrong and people should be given greater freedom of movement and there should be more local politics than national politics.
  7. Donation rwingett
    Ming the Merciless
    08 Apr '12 13:09 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    All countries are 'artificial entities'. All countries will have citizens who have relatives in other countries, and minorities and other such.
    I do no think that the history of colonial division is sufficient reason to support redrawing the lines. I come from Zambia which has its own separist movement. However any such actual separation would not really ...[text shortened]... en greater freedom of movement and there should be more local politics than national politics.
    Wouldn't the Tuaregs having an independent Azawad represent "more local politics" for them? It would certainly seem more local than being underrepresented by the government in Bamako, which has caused them to undertake several uprisings prior to this one.

    Let's compare this to the example of Belgium. Do you think the people of Belgium are better served by remaining a united country, or that the Walloons and the Flemish would each be better served by breaking into separate countries? We certainly have the example of the Czechs and the Slovaks who peacefully and successfully broke into their own separate countries. Or examples like the Basques and Catalonia who have been granted a greater degree of local autonomy while still remaining within Spain.

    For countries with scattered minorities, it would not be feasible to grant them autonomy or independence. But for countries where a minority is concentrated in a certain area, why shouldn't they have the right to self-determination and the ability to choose to live in their own country if they want?

    Edit: Do you think the creation of South Sudan and Eritrea were mistakes and that they should be rejoined with Sudan and Ethiopia? Clearly the precedent exists for the creation of new countries in Africa. I fail to see why Azawad couldn't make a similar case for independence as those two.
  8. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Poor Filipov :,(
    08 Apr '12 17:04 / 4 edits
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    All countries are 'artificial entities'. All countries will have citizens who have relatives in other countries, and minorities and other such.
    I do no think that the history of colonial division is sufficient reason to support redrawing the lines. I come from Zambia which has its own separist movement. However any such actual separation would not really ...[text shortened]... en greater freedom of movement and there should be more local politics than national politics.
    Mali and Ghana are not colonial entities. They were black African medieval kingdoms/empires.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:MALI_empire_map.PNG

    Here's a nice map: the yellow desert part is seceding from the green jungle part.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mali_sat.png
  9. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Poor Filipov :,(
    19 Apr '12 07:03
    http://www.strategypage.com/qnd/pothot/articles/20120418.aspx

    April 18, 2012: Today a civilian president (Western educated technocrat Dioncounda Traore) took temporary control of the government, until elections can be held within 40 days. Captain Sanogo and his fellow mutineers have kept their weapons and are trying to hold onto some power. In the last three days rebellious soldiers arrested, on uncertain authority, two senior politicians, including one who had been released (along with eleven others) last week in the wake of the agreement by the mutinous officers to restore civilian government. The mutineers also oppose the use of ECOWAS troops to oust the rebels in the north. In effect, the mutineers have just stepped back, not surrendered.

    For the last week the army has been sending more troops to the central Mali city of Mopti (which is at the junction of the Niger and Bani rivers). This will apparently be the base for efforts to retake control of the north or keep the rebels from moving south (where most of the people, water and national wealth are). To the north of Mopti the terrain becomes drier and, after a hundred kilometers or so, desert. The city is also the destination of many of the 200,000 northerners who fled their homes to escape the violence. The army is still in a state of disorder, with many senior officers uncertain of the loyalty of subordinate officers. The leader of the recent rebellion was a low ranking captain but was able to motivate a lot of dissatisfied (by corruption and mismanagement in the military) officers and troops to rebel. The army is in no shape to do much of anything, even maintain control of the government.

    In the north the Islamic radicals of Ansar Dine are gaining popular support by using their armed men (and recruiting more) to maintain law and order. This is causing friction with many Tuareg rebels, who have been doing some looting and raping. At the same time the Islamic radicals are stirring up popular anger with their enforcement of lifestyle rules. The way this usually works (especially in Africa), Ansar Dine will soon be ruling through hatred and fear and generating resentment that will evolve into armed resistance. But in the meantime, this religious dictatorship provides a sanctuary for Islamic radical groups that are raising money through drug smuggling and kidnapping Westerners. Several Westerners have already been taken in the north. At the same time, Western aid groups seek to continue providing needed supplies (like food and fuel) which aids the rebels as well as the population at large. It's going to get messy before it gets better. It's already messy for anyone from neighboring countries (especially diplomats and businessmen). There has been lots of looting and seizing of people (for eventual execution, ransom, or as part of negotiations).

    April 15, 2012: All southern leaders (mutinous troops and elected officials) have called for negotiations with the Tuareg rebels in the north. The Tuareg will negotiate anything but the independence of their new Taureg state in the north. The Islamic radicals are on a mission from God and will only negotiate the surrender of their opponents.

    April 13, 2012: ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) has agreed to prepare a military force to suppress the rebels in northern Mali, if negotiations fail. Such talks could take a while, and in the meantime many will suffer as the rebels take revenge and strive to rearrange political and economic structures. It's going to get nasty up there.
  10. Standard member Bosse de Nage
    Zellulärer Automat
    21 Apr '12 18:51
    Nomads versus farmers. Farmers like borders. It keeps out the nomads. How to craft a deal that is fair to the nomads?
  11. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Poor Filipov :,(
    21 Apr '12 18:58
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    Nomads versus farmers. Farmers like borders. It keeps out the nomads. How to craft a deal that is fair to the nomads?
    Aren't the ones who are insisting on new borders the nomads?
  12. Standard member Bosse de Nage
    Zellulärer Automat
    21 Apr '12 19:03
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    Aren't the ones who are insisting on new borders the nomads?
    Try answer the question with an answer not a question.
  13. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Poor Filipov :,(
    21 Apr '12 19:04
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    Try answer the question with an answer not a question.
    OK.

    No solution. Nomadism cannot survive against sedentarism in the long run.

    Now let's talk about Azawad, where the nomadic Tuareg are demanding a border to keep the agricultural blacks out.
  14. Standard member Bosse de Nage
    Zellulärer Automat
    21 Apr '12 19:07
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    OK.

    No solution. Nomadism cannot survive against sedentarism in the long run.

    Now let's talk about Azawad, where the nomadic Tuareg are demanding a border to keep the agricultural blacks out.
    If there's no solution, bang bang bang.
  15. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Poor Filipov :,(
    21 Apr '12 19:08 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    If there's no solution, bang bang bang.
    Or the nomads settle down.

    What solution is fair to Magyar nomads? They settled down.