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Watch as it Develops - The Staged War Against Islamists in Northern Mali

 
insertfunnyusername

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Greece
11/13/2012 02:43 PM
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Re: Watch as it Develops - The Staged War Against Islamists in Northern Mali
Hey DD, hope you doing great!hf

France Rules out Any Use of Air Power in Mali
[link to abcnews.go.com]

30 Nigerian girls trafficked to Mali daily
[link to nigeria.news24.com]
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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11/13/2012 11:12 PM
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Re: Watch as it Develops - The Staged War Against Islamists in Northern Mali
Same Info posted by IFUN...(just w/ some additional details)

Neither France nor Europe will intervene militarily to oust al-Qaida and its allies from northern Mali — not even with air strikes, the French defense minister said Tuesday....

Le Drian, speaking to reporters in Paris, reiterated France's longstanding stance that it will not send ground forces in support of the planned international effort led by African troops in Mali. But this time, he sought to make clear that that would mean no French attacks from the air either.

"As for air support, neither Europe nor France will intervene militarily," Le Drian told the European American Press Club. "When we say no troops on the ground, that means 'troops in the air' too ... But bringing in information, intelligence is another thing."

[link to www.businessweek.com]
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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11/13/2012 11:20 PM
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Re: Watch as it Develops - The Staged War Against Islamists in Northern Mali
Update of Troop Counts

The operational plan developed by the Chiefs of Staff of West Africa and endorsed by political leaders that provides four countries - Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Togo - deploy a battalion each of infantry of about 400 to 500 soldiers in Mali. Ghana and Burkina Faso should, themselves, have a smaller contribution. We speak, for example, 150 men sent by Ouagadougou.

Other countries outside ECOWAS, such as South Africa and Chad, were invited to support this operation, but according to a French source, none of these states has yet given a firm commitment....

[link to translate.google.com]
samUwell

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11/14/2012 10:28 AM
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Re: Watch as it Develops - The Staged War Against Islamists in Northern Mali

[link to www.elwatan.com]

In a statement to APS yesterday, the spokesman for the Foreign Ministry Amar Belani said that Algeria will take "appropriate measures" to ensure the protection of his interests and protection "maximum" its borders.

"Algeria anticipate all possible developments in the Sahel region and will, accordingly, and supremely appropriate measures to ensure the protection of his interests and the maximum protection of its borders," said the same official. A few hours earlier, and in more direct language, the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Kadré Désiré Ouedraogo had said in Paris that the Algerian authorities "assured that they would close their borders" if African military intervention to regain northern Mali occupied by armed Islamist groups. "The Algerian authorities have assured that they would close their borders."
[read more at link]

looks like its set to go.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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11/14/2012 06:18 PM
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Re: Watch as it Develops - The Staged War Against Islamists in Northern Mali
You know that peace deal with Ansar al Sharia...It's not going that well...

One of the three al-Qaida-linked groups currently controlling northern Mali said Wednesday it would not give up its harsh form of Islamic law, appearing to offer little ground in last-ditch talks meant to avert a military intervention to take back the region.

Members of Ansar Dine said they are willing to allow the rest of Mali to be governed by a different set of rules, but spokesman Mohamed Ag Aharib told reporters that asking his group to relinquish Shariah law in the area under their control is like asking them to give up being Muslim....

“We affirm that we want to impose Shariah in our home. We are not saying that we are going to apply it to the rest of the country, but we insist that it be applied where we live,” said Ag Aharib, whose group’s fighters control Kidal and Timbuktu, two of the three largest cities in Mali’s north.

“We want the world to know that Shariah is not just the cutting off of people’s hands. It’s our religion. It’s one of the practices within our religion and if we are asked to renounce Shariah, we might as well be asked to renounce Islam,” he said.

[link to www.washingtonpost.com]
Chrit

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11/15/2012 08:36 PM

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Re: Watch as it Develops - The Staged War Against Islamists in Northern Mali
You know that peace deal with Ansar al Sharia...It's not going that well...

One of the three al-Qaida-linked groups currently controlling northern Mali said Wednesday it would not give up its harsh form of Islamic law, appearing to offer little ground in last-ditch talks meant to avert a military intervention to take back the region.

Members of Ansar Dine said they are willing to allow the rest of Mali to be governed by a different set of rules, but spokesman Mohamed Ag Aharib told reporters that asking his group to relinquish Shariah law in the area under their control is like asking them to give up being Muslim....

“We affirm that we want to impose Shariah in our home. We are not saying that we are going to apply it to the rest of the country, but we insist that it be applied where we live,” said Ag Aharib, whose group’s fighters control Kidal and Timbuktu, two of the three largest cities in Mali’s north.

“We want the world to know that Shariah is not just the cutting off of people’s hands. It’s our religion. It’s one of the practices within our religion and if we are asked to renounce Shariah, we might as well be asked to renounce Islam,” he said.

[link to www.washingtonpost.com]
 Quoting: DarbyDoom


I figured so much, as all eyes are turned elsewhere they should be very worried right now.
I'm only human, it's my biggest flaw.

We must all realize a sink a chair and a pillow are all luxuries of home and a soldiers helmet takes the place of all three.
Anonymous Coward
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11/15/2012 08:52 PM
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Re: Watch as it Develops - The Staged War Against Islamists in Northern Mali
as for other spoils of war an absolute technologikull up grade of the populous will occure
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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11/16/2012 07:44 PM
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Re: Watch as it Develops - The Staged War Against Islamists in Northern Mali
The fighting erupted Friday in the northeast of Mali between Islamist Movement for the uniqueness and jihad in West Africa (Mujao) and the Tuareg National Liberation Movement of Azawad (MNLA). The fighting has ended, sources told AFP. .

The Tuareg MNLA suffered a heavy defeat (at the hands of) Islamists Mujao. During the fighting, the Mujao ambushed the Tuareg MNLA who lost many men, according to a Malian security source...

[link to translate.google.com]
Chrit

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11/16/2012 08:30 PM

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Re: Watch as it Develops - The Staged War Against Islamists in Northern Mali
The fighting erupted Friday in the northeast of Mali between Islamist Movement for the uniqueness and jihad in West Africa (Mujao) and the Tuareg National Liberation Movement of Azawad (MNLA). The fighting has ended, sources told AFP. .

The Tuareg MNLA suffered a heavy defeat (at the hands of) Islamists Mujao. During the fighting, the Mujao ambushed the Tuareg MNLA who lost many men, according to a Malian security source...

[link to translate.google.com]
 Quoting: DarbyDoom


Thx for the update, I had that feeling.
I'm only human, it's my biggest flaw.

We must all realize a sink a chair and a pillow are all luxuries of home and a soldiers helmet takes the place of all three.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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11/16/2012 08:46 PM
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Re: Watch as it Develops - The Staged War Against Islamists in Northern Mali
The fighting erupted Friday in the northeast of Mali between Islamist Movement for the uniqueness and jihad in West Africa (Mujao) and the Tuareg National Liberation Movement of Azawad (MNLA). The fighting has ended, sources told AFP. .

The Tuareg MNLA suffered a heavy defeat (at the hands of) Islamists Mujao. During the fighting, the Mujao ambushed the Tuareg MNLA who lost many men, according to a Malian security source...

[link to translate.google.com]
 Quoting: DarbyDoom


Thx for the update, I had that feeling.
 Quoting: Chrit


I'm surprised that MNLA was operating around GAO... They must have undergone a significant re-grouping...(special forces assistance?)

OR MUJWA has moved outside GAO Region...

Not sure yet...
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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11/16/2012 10:11 PM
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Re: Watch as it Develops - The Staged War Against Islamists in Northern Mali
More Details on Today's Fighting...

Clashes between MNLA and MUJWA on Friday near the region of Gao in northern Mali resulted in dozens of dead and wounded among the terrorists, said MNLA spokesman Hama Ag Sid Ahmed. He reported three injuries on the MNLA side and no deaths. "If there were dead, they would say," he assured.

"The MNLA reinforcements continue to move towards the areas of fighting," he added. "The fighting continues and will certainly take more intensity in the late evening and in the morning tomorrow," he added.

Malian security sources told AFP that the MNLA suffered a heavy defeat as a result of an ambush and lost many men. "The fighting lasted about 11 hours in Ansongo (a town located southeast of Gao) near the Niger River. There were no clashes between the two groups in Menaka, which is under MNLA control.

He also reported that former AQIM leader, Mokhtar Belmokhtar, who was relieved of his command by AQIM's Algerian leadership, has recently joined the Mujao.

Three weeks ago, Belmokhtar joined with MUJWA and created six new bases near Gao. "Among their elements, there are Pakistanis, Egyptians and Moroccans," he added.

Ansar Dine did not participate in the recent fighting. But if Ansar Dine does not support MNLA as an organization, members of the group could "go support their brothers who are fighting against terrorist groups," according to MNLA spokesman Hama Ag Sid Ahmed.

[link to translate.google.com]
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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11/16/2012 10:18 PM
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Re: Watch as it Develops - The Staged War Against Islamists in Northern Mali
English Language Report on Fighting...

Fighters from one of the al-Qaida-linked rebel groups controlling northern Mali on Friday attacked a position held by a secular rebel group, in the first clash between the two sides since the Islamists seized the territory in June, according to local officials and a rebel spokesman.

The fighting, which began at around 10 a.m. local time near the northern locality of Ansongo, comes as the secular National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad, or NMLA, held its first mediation session with the Islamists in the capital of Burkina Faso.

Oumar Ould Hamaha, spokesman for Islamist group MUJAO, said that the clash started Friday morning around 50 to 65 kilometers (30 to 40 miles) from Ansongo, a town on the road between the northern cities of Gao, controlled by MUJAO, and Menaka. The NMLA fled to Menaka after the Islamists pushed them out of the main cities in northern Mali in June.

[link to www.washingtonpost.com]
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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11/17/2012 10:10 AM
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Re: Watch as it Develops - The Staged War Against Islamists in Northern Mali
Mali / Fights between MUJAO and MNLA: at least 117 dead

According to local media, 100 MNLA fighters & 100 MUJWA fighters were killed in fighting yesterday...

[link to translate.google.com]
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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11/17/2012 10:29 AM
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Re: Watch as it Develops - The Staged War Against Islamists in Northern Mali
Fierce fighting between yesterday throughout the day, the rebels of the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) elements of AQIM and Mujao south of Kidal, near the border with Niger. Local sources speak of many deaths in the ranks of terrorists, wounded and prisoners.

....violent fighting between elements of AQIM and Mujao in the region Asango, located more 450 km southeast of Kidal and thirty kilometers from the border with Niger.

According to local sources, the battle began early yesterday morning when a large group of MNLA launched an ambush against a column of terrorists who came to the rescue of their forces who had been captured several days ago. "We decided to clean many areas, starting to do some ambushes in the desert, especially in areas known as crossing points of these groups. We were able to arrest several, at least a dozen that we disarmed. Among them were foreigners, but also Malians.

Early in the morning yesterday, a column of about sixty heavily armed vehicles Toyota Station came to the rescue, but the MNLA waiting. A violent clash ensued. Some were captured, others fled. Other MNLA sources of confirm and clarify that this "operation will not (be the last)." "It will be expanded around Gao and Timbuktu to expel all terrorists Azawad...

We have the support of the population and if the international community to help us, we will hunt all terrorist groups in our region." According to him, "the MNLA has learned. It is better organized and more determined than before. "

About the position of Ansar Eddine in this "war" against terrorists, our sources expressed their "concern"... We hope they prove on the ground what they say. Expect the coming days to see more clearly.

[link to translate.google.com]
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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11/17/2012 11:31 AM
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Re: Watch as it Develops - The Staged War Against Islamists in Northern Mali
Excuse my crappy rewording of Google translate....

Here is the 1st English language story on yesterday's fighting....

Al-Qaeda-linked fighters gathered reinforcements in the tense Gao region of northeastern Mali on Saturday and waited to see if the Tuareg rebels that launched a failed offensive a day earlier would regroup for a fresh assault.

Though the dusty town of Gao and its surroundings were initially under the control of Tuaregs, who are fighting to establish an independent state, the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) ousted them at the end of June.

On Friday, Tuaregs with the Azawad National Liberation Movement (MNLA) attacked the Islamist fighters but suffered a heavy defeat that saw about a dozen of their men killed, regional security sources said.

To prepare for a possible new offensive, Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), which is linked to MUJAO, sent about 300 reinforcements from Timbuktu, about 300 kilometres (185 miles) west of Gao, witnesses told AFP.

[link to www.google.com]

IFUN and I were discussing the fact that we don't know how many Jihadis are in Northern Mali....

If you convince the MNLA to launch an offensive against the Jihadis...
Best case, they might have some success...Worst case, you get an idea how integrated and numerous the various Islamists factions are....

Answer seems to be....they are closely integrated & there are number of them (already)... a number of new Islamists are in training now...
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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11/17/2012 11:55 AM
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Re: Watch as it Develops - The Staged War Against Islamists in Northern Mali
Looks like the West sees challenges in Mali...

Hannah Armstrong (@HannahHaniya)
11/17/12, 11:49 AM
Even the intervention-zealous French are not seeing one taking place before second half of 2013, a/t my sources @t_mcconnell #Mali
Chrit

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11/17/2012 12:59 PM

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Re: Watch as it Develops - The Staged War Against Islamists in Northern Mali
Looks like the West sees challenges in Mali...

Hannah Armstrong (@HannahHaniya)
11/17/12, 11:49 AM
Even the intervention-zealous French are not seeing one taking place before second half of 2013, a/t my sources @t_mcconnell #Mali
 Quoting: DarbyDoom


Now that is interesting. Are they going to let the humanitarian situation grow for strategic reasons? It will affect the battle field.
I'm only human, it's my biggest flaw.

We must all realize a sink a chair and a pillow are all luxuries of home and a soldiers helmet takes the place of all three.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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11/17/2012 09:26 PM
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Re: Watch as it Develops - The Staged War Against Islamists in Northern Mali
I KNEW IT....

MNLA Claims French Intelligence Instigated Friday's Clashes in Azawad..

Erupted Friday armed clashes between members of MUJWA and fighters from MNLA against the backdrop of killing one of the elements of MUJWA and the abduction of 7 others by the MNLA. MNLA elders accused French intelligence for fueling the conflict between the various organizations.

AG Ibrahim MNLA leader said the movement is committed to a truce and not in their interest to engage in confrontations. He said France had Her Hand Great In Fueling Conflict Between Movements Friday .

[link to translate.google.com]
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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11/17/2012 09:29 PM
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Re: Watch as it Develops - The Staged War Against Islamists in Northern Mali
Looks like the West sees challenges in Mali...

Hannah Armstrong (@HannahHaniya)
11/17/12, 11:49 AM
Even the intervention-zealous French are not seeing one taking place before second half of 2013, a/t my sources @t_mcconnell #Mali
 Quoting: DarbyDoom


Now that is interesting. Are they going to let the humanitarian situation grow for strategic reasons? It will affect the battle field.
 Quoting: Chrit


They think at least 6 months to train ground forces....

France wants to be totally behind the scenes - Special Ops & Intel only....

Not even foreign legion on the ground (supposedly)....

Part of the issue may be serious Algerian & Mauritanian resistance to French boots on the ground...

Another issue may be Hollande's poor approval ratings...There are many Algerians in France....
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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11/18/2012 09:13 AM
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Re: Watch as it Develops - The Staged War Against Islamists in Northern Mali
MNLA Refutes French Press Accounts of Friday's Clash

We confirm the information from our press of the victory of MNLA men against Mujao. We disclaim deaths, but only wounded regret (9). Our troops have not fled. This is contrary to the narco-terrorist Mujao who fled with their wounded. The latest reports indicate 55 dead and over a hundred injured side Mujao.

[link to translate.google.com]

Probably just propaganda
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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11/18/2012 05:09 PM
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Re: Watch as it Develops - The Staged War Against Islamists in Northern Mali
Thanks to Anita Hunt for the Heads Up....

Looks like France just purchased Niger's cooperation in upcoming war (this would be only country neighboring Azawad (Northern Mali) that will participate in intervention)...

Niger Secures $4.8B in Donor Cash...

Niger secured pledges of $4.8 billion (3 billion pounds) from international donors at a conference in Paris on Wednesday, giving President Mamadou Issoufou’s government the funds to press ahead with a four-year plan to alleviate poverty.

Niger, one of the world’s poorest countries despite its oil and uranium reserves, convened the Paris roundtable meeting with donor nations to seal the funding for its 2012-2015 economic and social development plan.

“We have been able to mobilise $4.8 billion, just higher than the needs we identified,” Planning Minister Amadou Boubacar Cisse told a news conference...

Niger, one of the world’s newest oil producing nations, has become of increasing strategic importance since a Tuareg rebellion in neighbouring northern Mali was taken over by a mix of local and foreign Islamists.

[link to www.euronews.com]
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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11/19/2012 08:42 AM
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Re: Watch as it Develops - The Staged War Against Islamists in Northern Mali
Report from Bamako-based reporter -

Peter Tinti (@petertinti)
11/19/12, 8:08 AM
RT @rmaghrebi: Rumors about violent combat between MNLA and MUJWA this morning in Ménaka, with MUJWA almost in control of the town. #Mali

Background - Menaka is outside the Islamist controlled areas. After the Islamists seized Northern Mali, the MNLA re-grouped there...
insertfunnyusername

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11/19/2012 01:05 PM
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Re: Watch as it Develops - The Staged War Against Islamists in Northern Mali
Hey DD, hope all well with you!hf

Rooters: Mali war against Islamists unlikely before mid-2013
[link to www.defenceweb.co.za]
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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11/19/2012 06:25 PM
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Re: Watch as it Develops - The Staged War Against Islamists in Northern Mali
Hey DD, hope all well with you!hf

Rooters: Mali war against Islamists unlikely before mid-2013
[link to www.defenceweb.co.za]
 Quoting: insertfunnyusername


I'm fine - nice to see you back...I hope that you are doing well...

Things not so good for the Taureg...Chrit expected it to get worse...and it did...

Tuareg rebels battle Islamists for north Mali town

Islamist gunmen fought Tuareg separatist rebels on Monday in a battle for control of the town of Menaka in Mali's northern desert, close to the border with Niger, both sides said....

"The fighting started early this morning and it is ongoing," said Moussa Ag Acharatoumane, a France-based spokesman for the independence-seeking MNLA Tuareg group.

"We have not given up on Menaka," he added.

A spokesman for al Qaeda-linked Islamist group MUJWA said its fighters had already seized control of the town, about 100 km (60 miles) from the Niger border, in clashes that had left many MNLA fighters "dead, wounded, and imprisoned".

Neither side could give details on casualties.

[link to my.chicagotribune.com]

Note - Menaka is in GAO Region on the Niger River.
insertfunnyusername

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11/19/2012 06:39 PM
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Re: Watch as it Develops - The Staged War Against Islamists in Northern Mali
Hey DD, hope all well with you!hf

Rooters: Mali war against Islamists unlikely before mid-2013
[link to www.defenceweb.co.za]
 Quoting: insertfunnyusername


I'm fine - nice to see you back...I hope that you are doing well...

Things not so good for the Taureg...Chrit expected it to get worse...and it did...

Tuareg rebels battle Islamists for north Mali town

Islamist gunmen fought Tuareg separatist rebels on Monday in a battle for control of the town of Menaka in Mali's northern desert, close to the border with Niger, both sides said....

"The fighting started early this morning and it is ongoing," said Moussa Ag Acharatoumane, a France-based spokesman for the independence-seeking MNLA Tuareg group.

"We have not given up on Menaka," he added.

A spokesman for al Qaeda-linked Islamist group MUJWA said its fighters had already seized control of the town, about 100 km (60 miles) from the Niger border, in clashes that had left many MNLA fighters "dead, wounded, and imprisoned".

Neither side could give details on casualties.

[link to my.chicagotribune.com]
 Quoting: DarbyDoom


Glad to be back, bit busy. Glad you doing fine too!
Read about the fighting that started, they were fighting together in the same side 6 months back, maybe we start seeing the whole picture here? Dunno, but suspicious Greek is suspicious.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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11/19/2012 10:44 PM
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Re: Watch as it Develops - The Staged War Against Islamists in Northern Mali
IFUN -

MNLA & MUJWA were allies until June...But Now - MNLA is fighting for its life...

Mali: all day, the fighting between Mujao and MNLA for control for Menaka

New fighting took place in northern Mali on Monday 19 November, after the latest clashes on Friday. This time, the jihadists Mujao attacked the town of Menaka, around 8am, with deep pockets. And all day, fighting continued.

The jihadists attacked Menaka. "We want to put an end once and for all to the MNLA," said Oumar Ould Hamaha, who is one of the leaders of MUJAO.

After shouting victory at mid-day and even celebrating the taking of Menaka in Gao, further north, Mujao acknowledged it had to cope with unexpected resistance from MNLA.

Mujao had obviously relied on the movement of several vehicles MNLA out of town to launch his assault. But the men of the Tuareg rebellion still present in the city have stood up to the jihadists.

Of both sides, the balance of fighting is contradictory. The MNLA's spokesman, Moussa ag Assardi ensures tonight that MNLA still control the town and that they have identified several deaths in the ranks of Mujao and burned several cars abandoned on the premises.

[link to translate.google.com]

BBC Report Says there are conflicting reports on whether Menaka has been taken by MUJWA...

[link to www.bbc.co.uk]
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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11/20/2012 06:45 PM
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Re: Watch as it Develops - The Staged War Against Islamists in Northern Mali
Menaka, a City in Defeat.

This is the desolation, Tuesday, November 20, 2012 in Menaka. Twenty-four hours after heavy fighting between the jihadists of Mujao and the MNLA, the toll is very heavy: many deaths on both sides in a city that, according to local sources, fell on Tuesday evening to Mujao.

According to eyewitness accounts, fighting that took place on Monday was formidable. A few dozen men from the MNLA, mostly from the local Tuareg community, fought a large number of heavily armed MUJAO fighters from GAO for the good part of the day.

After repelling several attacks, the defenders of Menaka, exhausted and without reinforcement, were finally overwhelmed Tuesday evening. MUJAO forces had been reinforced with heavy weapons and fighters from AQIM. MNLA did not provide reinforcements to its local fighters. By the end, the fight was completely unbalanced in favor of MUJAO.

A local government official who led the defense of Ménaka was killed along with eleven other relatives. A local resident said that the men who defended Menaka were local people who had only associated with MNLA recently. According to him, the locals fought primarily to defend their town.

Tonight Menaka is a defeated city. While the combatants have fallen silent, the dead are are still being discovered.


[link to translate.google.com]
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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11/20/2012 09:00 PM
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Re: Watch as it Develops - The Staged War Against Islamists in Northern Mali
New Facebook Post from Anita Hunt...

Suppose #Mauritania can't join #Mali's war because they are on opposing sides in the racial conflict between "black Africans" and "Arab Africans", but Aziz can't admit this because his regime is still pretending that the Mauritanian genocide didn't happen, and that slavery of black Mauritanians and expropriation of their land doesn't exist, and Mali is pretending that the north was stolen, when in fact they withdrew after they faced massive defections from the ranks once it was clear they were genocidal maniacs .. Just asking....

Note - Black members of MUJWA induced to "defect" back to Niger...

Note - Moderate Arabs in Northern Mali being wiped out (MNLA in Menaka)..

So, suppose someone is intentionally turning conflict into Northern Mali into racial conflict?
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Re: Watch as it Develops - The Staged War Against Islamists in Northern Mali
Nigeria to send 600 troops to Mali: defence minister

Nigeria, west Africa regional powerhouse, said Tuesday that it would send about 600 troops to Mali as part of a west African military force to wrest control of northern Mali from Islamist extremists.

"Nigeria is expected to send about 600 troops out of the 3,200 (3,300) pledged by ECOWAS," deputy defence minister Olusola Obada said when she received a representative of the British prime minister in the Sahel region in her office.

[link to www.google.com]

The troop muster is not going well...Early reports said that Nigeria might provide up to 50% of the troops..
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11/20/2012 11:31 PM
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Re: Watch as it Develops - The Staged War Against Islamists in Northern Mali
Why Mali? Why is the West Militarizing Africa? Short Answer - China

To increase its military presence, the United States has acquired basing rights and access to airfields in Djibouti, Uganda, Mali, Senegal and Gabon, along with port facilities in Morocco and Tunisia. In addition, it has also expanded its covert intelligence operations across Africa in the name of combatting terrorism. Yet, these operations also serve another purpose. By expanding its military presence in Africa, Washington is reminding its rivals that it is both willing and able to respond to threats to its strategic interests, the likes of which include the unimpeded flow of African oil.

In 2007, the U.S. African Command (AFRICOM) was established as the ninth of the Unified Combatant Commands under the supervision of the U.S. Department of Defence (DoD). The alleged purpose is to oversee American military operations on the African continent in order to enhance the stability of the region and to promote U.S. national security objectives. Many critics of AFRICOM, including energy security expert Michael T. Klare, believe there is a direct relationship between the existence of AFRICOM and America’s interest in African oil...

There may be another, often overlooked, purpose of AFRICOM. The presence of China in Africa is creating some concern for American officials. Beijing is competing with Washington for both the loyalty of African governments and the steady supply of African oil. There is a growing sentiment in Washington that China’s presence in Africa could challenge U.S. security interests now and in the years to come. China’s unconditional financial aid and its steady flow of cheap goods to African states (in exchange for oil contracts) have often made it a more appealing trading partner than America. Indeed, a 2005 DoD report indicated that China’s need to forge close ties with African governments to secure energy supplies could lead to ‘a more activist [Chinese] military presence abroad’. In this regard, AFRICOM would monitor Chinese activity and contain any Chinese incursion into American zones of interest by flexing America’s naval presence.

[link to oilprice.com]

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