France Pushing for Intervention in Mali – And They Will Get It

France Pushing for Intervention in Mali – And They Will Get It

mali France Pushing for Intervention in Mali   And They Will Get It

The war of words is already pretty intense:

Al Qaeda-linked Islamists in Mali threatened on Saturday to “open the doors of hell” for French citizens if France kept pushing for a war to retake the rebel-held north.

The renewed threats against French hostages and expatriates came ahead of a summit of French-speaking nations in Congo, where President Francois Hollande was expected to urge the rapid deployment of an African-led force to rout the Islamists.

…”If he continues to throw oil on the fire, we will send him the pictures of dead French hostages in the coming days,” said Oumar Ould Hamaha, a spokesman for Islamist group MUJWA, in an apparent reference to four French nationals seized in neighboring northern Niger in 2010.

“He will not be able to count the bodies of French expatriates across West Africa and elsewhere,” Hamaha said by telephone.

Allowing these groups to hold territory and consolidate power is intolerable so intervention is inevitable. Only the timing and scope are in question. The stakes are no doubt high for expats in West Africa but this conflict could reach back to France in the form of terrorism as well. How big is the threat on the European continent? I don’t know but it will be interesting to watch this unfold.

Covert Contact has been monitoring Mali for several months and today I rolled out a seven column widescreen live social media monitor there for this conflict. Additional monitors will probably be added as this escalates.

Maps courtesy of the CIA World Factbook

Another Gun Battle at Tripoli Airport

Another misunderstanding in Libya:

“Mukhtar Al-Akhdar, commander of a militia unit from Zintan, south-west of Tripoli, which controls the international airport, told Reuters a convoy of vehicles approached a checkpoint about 3 km from the airport.

He said the armed men in the convoy said they had come to take over security, and a gunfight then broke out.

“No one was killed. We have only two people injured on our side,” Al-Akhdar said. “These people were using national army vehicles. When we asked (acting army chief of staff Khalifa) Haftar about it, he said he did not know these people.”

He said the row was defused after intervention from the head of the National Transitional Council (NTC) Mustafa Abdel Jalil, caretaker Prime Minister Abdurrahim El-Keib and Defence Minister Osama Al-Juwali.”

These kinds of skirmishes seem to occur pretty regularly during this transition but there are some encouraging signs here. First, they seem to start small and end small. They are not, for the most part, spiraling out of control. It is also encouraging to see these disagreements get resolved once NTC political officials, who are a little higher up the chain, get involved. They’re either offering these militia leaders some kind of payout or there’s legitimate respect for the central government. Whatever the reason, diffusing these clashes, and transitioning areas from militia to state control is essential. As of now, the NTC appears to be making some initial progress.

Recommended on Twitter: @ntc_of_libya. The National Transitional Council of Libya.

Follow developments in Libya live on the Blogs of War Libya Monitor at http://libya.blogsofwar.com.