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Published 19th October 2012

Vol 53 No 21


Regional confrontation looms

SOMALIA: Fighters from the Kenyan-backed Ras Kamboni militia, an anti-Al Shabaab force. Sven Torfinn / Panos
SOMALIA: Fighters from the Kenyan-backed Ras Kamboni militia, an anti-Al Shabaab force. Sven Torfinn / Panos

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

Support in the UN and Europe is growing for a West African military force to push out the entrenched jihadist groups in northern Mali

The developing plan to oust the jihadist forces controlling northern Mali is moving forward, with regional security talks in Bamako starting on 19 October and a meeting between the Algerian and French Presidents on the following day. So far, much of the effort has gone on military and logistical coordination, without much thought on any side about the equally important question of political strategy.


Ouattara under threat again

Ex-President Gbagbo’s supporters in Accra are planning guerrilla attacks over the border and may even have reached out to Mali’s jihadist rebels

On 12 October, the United Nations Security Council discussed a worrying report by a UN Group of Experts that says that supporters of former President Laurent Gbagbo are bent on des...



BLUE LINES
THE INSIDE VIEW

On 17 October, French President François Hollande acknowledged that Algerians had been massacred at a 1961 independence rally in Paris. The victims of the police crackdown have never been officially counted, but historians reckon the number may have reached 200, making the incident the most brutal use of state force since the G...

On 17 October, French President François Hollande acknowledged that Algerians had been massacred at a 1961 independence rally in Paris. The victims of the police crackdown have never been officially counted, but historians reckon the number may have reached 200, making the incident the most brutal use of state force since the German occupation.

Hollande stopped short of blaming police chief Maurice Papon, whose forces cleared the protestors who violated a curfew. Nonetheless, the President’s statement angered his political opponents by suggesting police culpability in the ‘bloody repression’. The message should be welcomed by the country’s some three million immigrants from Algeria and the wider Maghreb. Hollande’s olive branch is strategically timed. He arrives in Algeria this week, and he badly needs the cooperation of North African authorities to counter security threats at home and abroad. Hollande backs an Ecowas/African Union force for Mali, where Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb holds six French hostages.

It is not only France that is rethinking the colonial legacy. On 5 October, London’s High Court ruled that three Kenyan citizens who were tortured by British colonial authorities during the 1950s Mau Mau uprising could take their case against the British government to full trial. Many who witnessed or participated in the repression are now dead, but the ruling has symbolic significance and has cheered the elderly veterans of the Mau Mau struggle.

Read more

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Pointers

M23’s other parent

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Ghannouchi unplugged

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