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Mali: statements and analysis

Bringing together statements and analysis on January 2013's military interventions in Mali.

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Mali: peace is not war!

Statement from WRI section Union pacifiste de France. Also available in French here.

10 January 2013: after Aqmi’s surprise attack on Konna, with jihadist’s four-wheel drives, President Dioncounde Traoré proclaims a state of emergency. Not only the 100,000 inhabitants of Mopti (Dogon’s historic town) would be threatened, but so would the road to the capital Bamako. President Traoré calls for help from his French colleague François Hollande. Immediately on 11 January, the supreme chief of the French army answers in the affirmative. He is hoping that this war will stop his vertiginous fall in Gallup polls.

The National Assembly is consulted on this war declaration on the 16th, in order to justify the first aerial interventions. They don’t speak about risks of attempt in France. The self-declared representatives of the People don’t evoke the Lot of seven or eight French hostages of jihadists. Their names are: Pierre Legrand, Thierry Dol, Marc Ferret, Daniel Larribe (and his wife Françoise, who is not in the accounts of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb), These four are wage-earners of Areva (a French nuclear trust) kidnapped on 16 September 2010 in the mining camp of Arlit (Niger); N° 5 and 6 are Serge Lazarevic and Philippe Verdon, “businessmen” carried off in November 2011, near the Hombori mount (in the Mopti region, and not far from the border with Niger, full of mineral wealth,); and lastly Gilberto Rodrigues Leal, born in Portugal but holding a French passport, arrested in his car close to Mauritanian border by an armed Islamic group. Is this the beginning of a tragic collection?

20 December 2012: the UN adopted resolution 2085, authorised for one year to send a military force of 3,000 men in Mali, asking the Malian chief of state to open dialogue with the Mohammedan rebels of the North.

The West African States Economic Community (CEDEAO in French) gathered fifteen countries began to train soldiers to kill, which is the first type of military intervention. The majority originating from Nigeria, Niger and Burkina Faso, they will be turned out by “co-operating” gendarmes coming from the EC, in order to be operational in September 2013, when the climate in the Sahara is more endurable.

In violation of international law, since the evening of 10 January, French troops based in Chad or Burkina landed on the runway of Sevare with eight big carrier planes (some belonging to the German army). With helicopters, they begin to use Tommy guns mounted on motorbikes and cars supposed to be Aqim’s jihadists, opening a new list of collateral damage (civilian casualties).
French soldiers who survived tours in Afghanistan will enjoy this blind war in the vacuum of this infinite desert. The French army remains a terrorist firm ignoring the economic crisis.

Union Pacifiste, French section of War Resisters International, recall with vigor that war is never the solution, bringing more and more corpses, mutilations and rapes. Peace can only be realised with acts of demilitarisation and by unilateral disarmament (the only way to provide the iron will to end with all wars, injustices and barbarities they produce).

Subsidiary questions for warmongers:
- Who sold arms to African countries? (in particular after having given stocks of weapons to rebels during the Libyan war)
- Who welcomed the dictators at the XXV Africa-France summit on 16 June 2010?
- Who are the war-profiteers exploiting the mining resources in Mali and Niger?
- Who encouraged the radical Islamic armed violence?

Union pacifiste de France
BP 40196, 75624 Paris cedex 13 www.unionpacifiste.org

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