By Abayomi Azikiwe
Editor, Pan-African News Wire
Western imperialist states with the support of the United Nations Security Council are preparing for a full-scale military intervention in the West African state of Mali. Since March the country has been in a severe political crisis with the advent of a military coup and the effective partitioning of the north and south of the country.
France under the government of Francois Hollande has moved surveillance drones to West Africa and is engaging in secret talks with the United States officials in Paris. Mali, which was colonized by France in the 19th century, won its independence in 1960.
Although the French and the U.S. claim that any military involvement must be led by a regional African force, both Paris and Washington have strong ties with the security apparatus in Mali. Prior to the coup that toppled President Amadou Toumani Toure in March, the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) had established training programs and joint operations with the Malian army.
This planned intervention is being carried out under the guise of fighting al-Qaeda in North and West Africa. The Tuareg people represented by several organizations in northern Mali, have been at odds with the central government in Bamako in the south for many years.
In the aftermath of the U.S.-NATO engineered war of regime-change in Libya, many Tuaregs re-located back to northern Mali where they have had a presence for many centuries. The Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) is credited with leading the campaign for the seizure of several major cities in the north of the country earlier this year and the declaration of a separate state of Azawad.