18 February 2013, 19:25

Mali operation: Timbuktu heritage, same-sex marriages and French self-identification

Mali operation: Timbuktu heritage, same-sex marriages and French self-identification

The government of Mali, in an effort to provoke a foreign invasion in its favor, is involved in destroying of monuments cultural heritage in the Malian city of Timbuktu. Abu Bakr al-Ansari, the head of the Azawad National Congress (an organization of Tuaregs with headquarters in Timbuktu) has expressed this opinion in an interview with the Voice of Russia.

He noted that the situation in Mali had been discussed several times at the UN since the middle of last year. However, no one was in a hurry to intervene in the events, in spite of Bamako’s repeated appeals to the international community. Meanwhile, the extremist groups consolidated their position in the North, and were preparing for an assault against the capital. Mali’s government was on the brink collapse. It needed a reason for involving foreign states in the conflict and there is nothing in Mali except monuments and libraries of Timbuktu, Abu-Bakr al-Ansari says. According to him, ancient manuscripts and mosques became a bargaining chip in the political game.

Al-Ansari is convinced that the government of the Fifth Republic misinformed the French public about the severity of the risks of this operation. The war will be long and will involve not only the Republic of Mali. The French have come to Africa for a long time and have declared that they will rely on the forces of their African allies. This means that the Europeans will minimally risk the lives of their citizens, Abu-Bakr al-Ansari says. For the war in the North of Mali, the French will use the forces of Chad, Rwanda and other African states and this is fraught with very serious consequences.

Abu Bakr al-Ansari believes that the Fifth Republic’s government has practically misled the French society about the risks of the operation. The war appears to last long and affect other districts apart from Mali. Paris was aware of this but distracted the public attention from the issue.

“I am sure that if asked the French would have spoken against the military intervention in Africa. But it was exactly when the parliament was considering the same-sex marriage draft law, with many people attending rallies against the initiative. I do not believe that such a coincidence can happen in big politics. The French are serious about their presence in Africa. They insist that they are going to rely on their African supporters - it means that French citizens would face minimal danger there. While in northern Mali the French troops will rely on the forces deployed from Chad, Rwanda and other African states. And this is likely to have very grave consequences. The problem is that the people of Chad and the Tuareg have been in a state of war following the latter demonstrating their support to Muammar Gaddafi during the Libya-Chad confrontation. Now France is giving them a chance for revenge. As a result, the region has few chances to see the situation improving.”


Timbuktu sites destroyed by govt mercenaries - Tuareg leader 

The Mali government has recruited mercenaries to destroy Timbuktu historical sites and trigger a foreign invasion, the head of the Timbuktu-based Tuareg National Congress of Azawad Abu Bakr al-Ansari told the Voice of Russia. 

The activist added the monument issue was on the UN agenda since mid 2012 but nobody hastened to interfere while this time it became a pretext to justify a foreign campaign in Mali.

Abu Bakr is also concerned that France could possibly use mercenaries from Chad, Rwanda and other African states and this could lead to tragic events in the region.

Voice of Russia

Anastasia Petrova
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