By all means, the Malian conflict seems to be heading back to its starting point from the 1960s. The credible signs for such an outcome are to be found in the qualifier “neither Autonomy nor Independence for the Azawad” reported by the international press, the refusal to sign the accords by the northern Tuaregs’ delegations and the populations demonstrations against it.
The armed confrontations will likely resume sooner than one may think. This time around, however, the cost in Humain lives will be much greater. Trained and armed, but also supported by the Europeans led by the French, Bamako Troops will undoubtedly cause more death and destruction in Azawad (North Mali).
Instead of a durable solution to insure peace and safety of the populations in the region through a modern and fairer model or governance with greater regional autonomies (confederation of States), Algeria and France locked the negotiations into the very same Jacobinism that caused the conflict in the first place. Such maneuver is unsustainable by a weak and distant central government – eroded by corruption and dilapidation of rare natural resources, enriching mainly French and European companies at the detriment of local communities.
For the local populations, it’s a return to the old same system, which for decades now, since independence, prevented their industrial and economic development, but also their political emancipation; a post-colonialism state Africans at large reject throughout the continent, including the host of the talks, Algeria.
Skillfully, the purveyors of the Status Quo rely on “borders intangibility” as the artifact with which to dodge the issue. Setup in the 1960s by the African Union Organization (AUO), then ran by now proven dictators, this dogma stood up as a major obstacle against African populations, their contests and desire for political emancipation – leaving entire historically independent and autonomous peoples prisoners within borders established by colonial powers (Europeans), following the 1885 Berlin Accords.
The language and aims of the said “accords” undermined the populations throughout Mali, and are perceived as a dictate by their sponsors who demonstrated tutelage rather than interest in sustainable peace. By design, the “accord” does but maintain the State of Mali under domination of the said “partners” (France and Algeria), whilst punishing the rebel groups who successfully expelled the Bamako Government, weakened and overran by corruption and demonstrated irrelevance in the Azawad region and overall northern Mali region.
It is worth reminding the opinion that, beneath the former central government in Bamako, lies an identity and cultural crisis caused by the former regime’s contempt towards the populations and the authentic peoples they formed for centuries before in total peace and respect. As it is the case throughout the continent, and particularly in the northern part, the Arabo-islamic regimes left behind by the French, such as the Algerian one, are particularly prone to language and culture eradication. The periodic and continuous uprising of ethnic groups in Algeria should have raised concerns as to the ability of its illegitimate regime to participate, let alone organize such talks. Need it not, the regime, demonstrate its qualifications for such a delicate task, by addressing its own challenges of which France is well aware?
For these reasons, and the state of wakening of the populations, the accords are seen in the region as doomed to failure and, consequently, a sentiment of fear for the fate of the Tuaregs and other peoples in the Sahel region emerges in the local independent press. For many, the question is “what is the weight of the United States in this charade?”, for the US is the only witness to the talks, who seem to value the “People’s Say”, by not signing the “Algiers Accords.”
For other peoples in the region, caught in the same or similar “French-Algerian” trap, the question is, how far and how long before the international community frees itself from the remains of colonialism that France continues to promote in the region for narrow interest at the detriment of the greater good of Democracy?
Without a colonial past, the United States and Canada are increasingly seen by new generations of Africans as the only countries capable to exert influence and might, for a just and sustainable change in the African continent. Is somebody listening?