Friday, March 29, 2013

Attack on Tenenkou?

A bizarre short bulletin in tonight's ORTM Journal - the Malian TV Evening News- stated that the MNLA has attacked the town of Tenenkou - about 80 k from Djenne and about the same distance from Mopti- and caused more than 20 fatal casualties as well as carried off several vehicles. There is as yet nothing else about this event elsewhere.
It is the unfortunate characteristic of Malian TV that it does not have the means to do instant coverage of an event like this. Therefore we are now watching pre-recorded programmes about the war, rather than an event that may be unfolding as I write this.
But tomorrow this news item may no longer exist- it has happened before. We just spoke to our journalist friend Levy who confirmed having seen it too.

What is certain is that the  news agency ABC , through their Ouagadougou staff,  announced yesterday that the MNLA has 'designated a governor of Kidal'. This was reported quite seriously as if the MNLA had the right to appoint governors! Once again,  it would be helpful if it was understood that the MNLA does NOT have a mandate to speak for the Touareg people, a large number of whom do not want independence from Mali!


Blogger David said...

Heck, I hope not. This is NOT the extremist group, right, but the one which wants independence? What a muddle.

10:40 AM  
Blogger toubab said...

David, the MNLA is an extremist group. They are not Jihadists, but they are nevertheless the ones that invited all the rest of the assorted criminals in, and the ones that mounted an armed rebellion and got us in to all this mess!

12:07 PM  
Blogger David said...

The ones who got you into this own mess were the ones in the rebellious army faction down in Bamako. Unfortunately by uprising as it did, the MNLA has effectively scuppered the chances of renegotiating an independent territory, which might well have come about before this disintegration and extended ethnic violence.

2:37 PM  
Blogger toubab said...

There are in fact a whole series of reasons for the crisis Mali is going through. The MNLA started their uprising BEFORE the coup. The massacre committed at Aguelhoek by the MNLA happened before the coup. ATT's refusal to respond to that situation in any way was a deciding factor for the coup. The fact that ATT had allowed AQMI and various other criminal bands to infiltrate the norhern territories unchecked for years was another part of it. It is a complicated story...

2:57 PM  
Blogger toubab said...

I do not see the Malian crisis now as ethic violence. Southern Malians have absolutely nothing against Touaregs as longs as they don't take up arms against the nation. There are thousands of Touaregs integrated in Malian society and holding high office in the Malian gouvernment and elsewhere.Some in the press have tried to simplify this into an ethnic war, and have even tried to say that the Fulani are targeted because they are sometimes light skinned. This is nonsense. If some Fulani have been arrested it is because there was a reason for it.

3:05 PM  
Blogger David said...

I don't think either of us can say for certain what happened in Mopti (and the press has gone quiet about it, so one never gets to hear the outcome). But you can't deny violence against Tuaregs in Timbuktu and other towns. It was inevitable after the oppression of the extremists that reprisals would be taken against innocent people, and still will be. That's war.

3:12 PM  
Blogger toubab said...

Of course David, noone really knows. But what remains with me at the moment is the fact that I am totally outraged about the fact that NOONE has even mentioned the massacre of 20 people at Bougoumi. Isn't it the duty of journalists to try and fimd out wnat happened? I feel like going there myself to investigate- why does noone care??? And why has noone questioned anything or even commented on this blog?

6:57 PM  
Blogger David said...

Yes, it's both bizarre and a bit outrageous, bearing in mind the fact that journalists now know (or should do) that you are probably the most reliable source for making information known within Mali.

Maybe they think the public can only handle one piece of news coming from one part of the world at a time, and that people's imaginations are captured by the idea of Timbuktu. But it's very, very poor reporting. Must look and see what Al-Jazeera's up to.

Anyway, love and support as ever.

7:04 PM  
Blogger toubab said...

Thank you David!
There is some developments on this story- the Governor of Mopti went to Youvarou and to Tenenkou in the Bougouni area today to put the administration back in place - it appears that although these towns were not part of the occupied territories, they were nevertheless deserted by the Malian administration during the last year. He was accompanied by Malian troops which will stay to secure this area on the east side of the Niger which has been vulnerable to attacks, since it is easy to make raids and then just disappear into the desert areas bordering on Mauritania.

10:43 PM  
Blogger toubab said...

OOps! I mean the WEST side of the Niger of course...

10:48 PM  

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