Africa News Roundup: ECOWAS and Mali, French Commanders in Mauritania, Muslim Protests in Ethiopia, Karim Wade, and More

Details on the Economic Community of West African States’ battle plan for Mali:

“International forces will not do the ground fighting, that role will belong to the Malian army,” a military officer familiar with the plan, who asked not to be named, said on Friday.

“Air strikes will be the responsibility of the international force,” he said, adding foreign partners would also provide logistical and intelligence support and soldiers and police to secure areas captured by the Malian army.

Military planners from Africa, the United Nations and Europe in Mali’s capital Bamako last week drew up a battle plan that would involve a foreign force of more than 4,000 personnel, mostly from West African countries. It remains unclear how much of the force would come from Western nations.

The plan covers a six-month period, with a preparatory phase for training and the establishment of bases in Mali’s south, followed by combat operations in the north.

Top French military commanders visited Mauritania this week to discuss Mali and terrorism.

The ongoing Muslim protests in Ethiopia merit a full post, but two items of note are the announcement of new members of the Islamic Affairs Council and a statement by the US Commission on International Religious Freedom expressing concern “about the increasing deterioration of religious freedoms for Muslims in Ethiopia.”

In other Ethiopia-related news, “Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan have agreed to resume jointly working on organizing sustainable management, utilization and development of the Nile waters under the Eastern Nile Basin. The agreement was reached after water Ministers and representatives of the three countries held a meeting in Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, on Thursday.”

VOA:

The United Nations warns survivors of Nigeria’s worst flooding in five decades are at risk for waterborne and water-related diseases.  Nigeria’s National Emergency Management Agency reports the heavy rains have killed 363 people, affected 7.7 million and made more than two million people homeless.

Reuters: “Somalia’s al Shabaab, Squeezed in South, Move to Puntland.”

Senegalese police will again question Karim Wade, a former minister and son of former President Abdoulaye Wade.

What else is happening?

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3 thoughts on “Africa News Roundup: ECOWAS and Mali, French Commanders in Mauritania, Muslim Protests in Ethiopia, Karim Wade, and More

  1. By now everyone must be wondering who wants force, diplomacy or what. Is the force supposed to just push militants to the negotiating table? Are negotiations just to buy time? Is this the result of many important people unable to agree on force or diplomacy and so they had the brilliant idea of doing both?

  2. It’s not unreasonable for involved foreign blocs to divide the asymmetric parties before any type of military intervention: the MNLA away from the Islamists and Ansar Dine from MUJAO. Then we have Algeria working its influence with AQIM and MUJAO, for better or worse at the behest of Washington. These actions are presumably meant to split the Islamic alliance or sow distrust at the least, and they may succeed on some
    level. Neither party is negotiating in good faith though. No state actor is willing to compromise Mali’s territory to any group, militant or civilian, and no non-state actor is prepared to submit unconditionally.

    Foreign capitals have consistently demonstrated indecision towards northern Mali’s crisis since its outbreak in March. They know this problem isn’t easy to solve and lack available resources, so now they must patch a coalition together and go with what they have before the militants get too comfy. At the same time, U.S. policy desires a highway into West Africa and Mali’s “training” program is it. Would not be surprised to see a new drone base go up somewhere in the region either.

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