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Mali

Mali – Timbuktu: Difficult reconciliation

Walking through the streets of Timbuktu, you’ll breathe history, myth and mystery. This city, founded in the 12th century by the Tuareg of the Araouan region, has developed from the 14th century onwards economically and, even more, culturally. It reached its maximum splendor in the 16th century. It was home to 100,000 people. In the…

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Mali – Music for peace

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They could be called a coalition, even though not a warring one. Many West African singers and musicians took their stand on the conflict in Mali, and chose to ask for peace and unity. In January, Mali’s Fatoumata Diawara gathered some of the country’s best-known music artists, including Vieux Farka Touré, Amadou et Mariam, Oumou…

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Mali – What comes next ?

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  France intervened in Mali to stop the jihadists’ offensive on Mopti and Bamako. Beyond, the plan is to rid the country from all terrorists. A serious challenge. On the last 11 January, French aircrafts and helicopters bombed a column of jihadists rebels which had captured the day earlier the city of Konna, 700 km…

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Mali – When the fire spreads …

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  Earlier this year, on March 22nd, unhappy of the government’s response to insecurity in the north, a group of Malian soldiers staged a coup d’état. Under the leadership of Captain Amadou Haya Sanogo, they overrun Bamako, the capital, and declared their intention to re-establish security and order in the country, and to prevent a…

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Mali – Killing traditions

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  At the centre of a vast net of merchants’ routes, Timbuktu was a fabulously wealthy city especially in the 15th and 16th centuries. Gold, ivory, slaves, salt, and other goods transited here before being shipped to northern Africa. Merchants were Tuareg, Mande, and Fulani, but also Europeans adventurers and Berbers. They all led Timbuktu…

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Regional fears

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  The situation in Mali worries many in Africa and beyond. Neighbouring countries – politically united in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) – swing from fear of being involved in a war it is not theirs and the uncertainty of dealing with thousands of refugees. The African Union wishes to resolve matters…

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Shifting sands

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  With the proclamation of total war against terrorism following Al Qaida attacks in the USA, the American Department of State promoted several regional initiatives, among them the Pan Sahel Initiative (2002). This is a military agreement between Niger, Mali, Mauritania, Chad and the USA to contain the expansion of Islamic terror groups in the…

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The shadow of Al Qaida

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  On April 6th, the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (Mnla) declared the independence of the Republic of Azawad. This new country, not recognized by the international community, comprises the regions of Kidal, Gao and Timbuktu; regions that the French colonizers annexed to Mali at the time of independence. The Mnla stressed that…

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Azawad

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  It was an open secret; the tension in the north had been mounting for years. No one in Mali was surprised when, last January, the Tuareg took up arms fighting for the liberation of Azawad, the collective name of the three Malian northern regions. Since the beginning, the leaders of the National Movement for…

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Mali – From coup to coup

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  This is a long story that started back in 1994 when the Italian navy, following a tip off from the British, seized an arsenal of weapons off the Italian coast. 400 missiles, 30,000 AK47’s, 5,000 Katuscha rockets, 11,000 anti-tank rockets and 32million rounds were part of the catch on freighter Jadran Express. The government…

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Advocacy

A Museum for advocacy?

A Museum can surely be an action of advocacy, if it provides awareness towards empowerment. The National Museum of African American History and Culture that ex…

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Baobab

Why the sea is salty.

Long ago, the sea was not salty. People got their salt from the mountain of salt across the sea. One day, the people in the village…

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Youth & Mission

Bennie was the wrong person, in the wrong place at…

Bennie had a thin, hollow face, the picture of malnutrition at 22 years of age, he had never been to school for more than a few…

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