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Posts Tagged ‘ Mostar ’

A Look at the Degeneration of Mali: the Military Coup and Barbarism

Islamic Jihadist groups have capitalized on Mali’s weak political situation to place themselves, by force, in power in northern Mali. In an area as vast as France the Islamic rebels have imposed strict Shariah, and as a result, it is reported that almost half a million people have been forced to flee their homes. Those who have stayed are subject to the imposed Islamic law; women are advised to stay indoors, smoking is punishable by whipping, alcohol is forbidden, theft (supposed) is punishable by amputation of the hand, which happened to a man some 2 weeks ago in Ansongo, and adultery is punishable by stoning to death, a fate which befell a couple some weeks ago in Bamako. The parents had a number of children, the youngest just 6 months…

As if forcing your barbaric religious law upon a peaceful region wasn’t awful enough, the group Ansar Dine recently demolished an ancient mosque in the historic city of Timbuktu. In what was reminiscent of the destruction of the OldBridge in Mostar, Bosnia, by Catholic Croats, members of the Islamic group, armed with axes, destroyed the building that was of great cultural importance to the region. “It’s very simple: it doesn’t correspond to the rules of Islam…What doesn’t correspond to Islam, we will correct”, said Sanda Ould Boumana, a spokesperson for Ansar Dine.

 

The Military and the Coup

A military coup in the south of the country in March has meant that the Islamic groups, Ansar Dine and the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJWA), have been able to descend upon the region and impose Shariah. The military staged a coup to overthrow the democratically elected government of Mali and to drive President Amadou Toumani Toure into exile. The coup left the northern territories vulnerable and the Islamic groups seized upon this niche. Some have said that Mali was a beacon of hope in Africa, the government being democratic and secular, but the truth is that the country was wrought with corruption. The question is posed whether it is justifiable to overthrow a democratically elected government by force? This raises some rather thorny questions; is it justifiable to leave such a corrupt government in place?  The trend of military coups has been an exponential prevalence in the past century. More often than not corrupt governments are replaced by a newly appointed government, but a new government with pro-military individuals taking seats in cabinet. And some may suggest this is what is happening in Mali. On Monday (20/08) a new government was appointed. Of the 31 ministers, 5 of them are perceived to be close associates of coup leader Captain Amadou Sanogo.

In an article in March for Al Jazeera William Moseley wrote of the transition of the government following the coup, “If we are charitable and assume the best, then Sanogo may be a well-intentioned subaltern who unwillingly led a coup because he was fed up with rampant corruption, improper support of the military, and the declining welfare of the Malian people… Sadly, however, the ends do not justify the means. Coups are steely, double-edged swords, as one violent transition of power opens the door for yet another transition of power”.

The timing is somewhat suspicious. An upcoming election was due to be held some months after the coup. Instead of a coup, the military could have focused their efforts on eliminating the threat of militant Islamic groups in the north and let the civilian masses vote in the upcoming free elections. Their decision to undercut the government early may well suggest their intention to increase their influence in the cabinet.

The Northern Situation

Whatever the intentions of the military the threat of religious fundamentalism in the north is critical. The newly appointed government has stated the main concern is the situation in the north. The situation is indeed urgent; the groups, mainly Ansar Dine which is aligned with the Taliban, controls almost two-thirds of the country. The military commander of Ansar Dine, Omar Ould Hamaha, has said, “When we have finished conquering France, we will come to the USA, we will come to London and conquer the whole world…The banner of Muhammed will be raised from where the sun rises in the east to where it sets in the west”. The democratic and secular country of Mali has some work to do to rid its northern territory of these barbaric terrorist who hold imposed governance over the people and who seek to spread their horrific law. The newly appointed government of Mali also needs to counteract deep seeded corruption within the cabinet and may need to seek external assistance to aid them in the re-generation of their country, and the fight against barbarism in the north.

Shuki Sadan Byrne (22/08/2012).

Find Willaim Moseley’s Article Here: http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2012/03/2012331124714249529.html

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