THIS is what the West smiles at in Libya… no doubt, they want to spread such “freedom” to Mali…
The situation in Mali, the country closest to the “zone of stability and security” purportedly created by NATO in Libya, is far from being stable or secure. The international news agencies and world press report horror stories about the rule of terror established by the jihadist movements in the north-east of this country, previously dominated by the local Tuaregs. There are two interesting conclusions that global politicians and experts draw from the developments in Mali. Firstly, all recognise that Mali’s destabilisation was one of the results of NATO’s military intervention in Libya (the Tuaregs, who, in fact, unleashed the military action, armed themselves with weapons from Colonel Qaddafi’s ransacked arsenals). Secondly, the proposed solution to the crisis, heavily lobbied by France, is… another military intervention, this time in Mali. Obviously, the “zone of stability and security”, for some reason, has a unique ability to spawn new conflicts.
The only “political heavyweight” on the world stage who predicted undesirable developments in Mali in the immediate aftermath of the Libyan coup was Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. In April this year, during a visit to Azerbaijan, he sketched a negative scenario, which, unfortunately, proved to be accurate, saying, “The Libyan story’s far from over. We see how Mali’s statehood is being destroyed before our very eyes. What’s the reason for that? Besides the unending skirmishes in Libya itself, instability is flowing into neighbouring states via arms smuggling and infiltration of fighters. What we see in Mali is just the result of these processes”.
What’s, indeed, astounding is the fact that NATO continues to trumpet its operation in Libya as a great success. For example, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton praised the victory of “secular liberals” in recently-held elections in Libya (which would indeed be great, if “secularists” hadn’t had a discussion on an innocent point… whether Sharia should be the main law of the country or, even better, the only law). In her comments, Mrs Clinton carefully avoided making a link between the destruction of Qaddafi’s regime and the sudden replenishments of the arsenals of AQMI (the French abbreviation for Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb) and Ansar Dine, the two most violent groups in the jihadist movement in North Africa, which ultimately took control of north-eastern Mali.
From Mali’s capital of Bamako, Caroline Tuina-Ouanre, a journalist from neighbouring Burkina Fasso, who specialises in covering developments in the Sahel, said, “During Qaddafi’s rule, we didn’t know about these groups. Obviously, they didn’t get their arms from nowhere. They got them due to the collapse of the Libyan régime, which itself was a result of Western intervention. It made AQMI much stronger; this is a proven fact, long reported by the African Francophone press, from Morocco to Burkina-Faso”.
France, who actually engineered Western intervention in Libya, is now the primary supporter of an intervention in Mali. However, French President François Hollande said that “for obvious reasons” (obviously, the history of French colonialism in the region) France was unwilling to intervene on its own, saying, “The intervention should take place in the framework of the African Union (AU) and under the auspices of the UN”. The irony of the situation is that the AU was resolutely opposed to Western intervention in Libya in 2011, saying that such an intervention would undermine regional security. South African leader Jacob Zuma, a key figure in the AU, and Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika were among the most vocal opponents of the physical destruction of Colonel Qaddafi. Now, France wants Bouteflika’s Algeria to spearhead an eventual intervention in Mali. In 2011, both the USA and the EU ignored AU protests, trumpeting the removal of Qaddafi as a 100 percent positive development, a “victory for democracy”. Therefore, now, France is asking the AU to make up for its misdeeds in the area… misdeeds that the AU never approved.
18 July 2012
Voice of Russia World Service