Moroccan and French Top Leadership Assess the Current Situation In Mali

By IndepthAfrica
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Jan 16th, 2013
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On January 14 King Mohammed VI received a phone call from the French President, Francois Hollande, said the Royal Cabinet in a statement.  On this occasion, the two leaders assessed and exchanged views on the situation in Mali in particular following the latest developments in the country.

It is worth noting that François Hollande officially announced Friday the commitment of the French army alongside Malian forces to “fight against terrorist elements.” Malian President Acting Dioncounda Traoré had specifically requested military aid from France to repel an offensive by Islamist armed groups in the north, while the strategic town of Konna had fallen into their hands last Thursday after three days clashes with the Malian army.

Morocco has required intervention to protect the heritage of Mali, after the destruction of several shrines of Muslim saints by Islamists in Timbuktu in northern Mali. Morocco called on Islamic states and the international community for urgent action to protect the joint and rich heritage of Mali which is a component of the Islamic heritage and humanitarian.

Morocco has been following with great concern the dangerous developments in Mali that led to the deliberate destruction of historical, cultural and religious in the ancient city of Timbuktu. These acts constitute “a breach of cultural and civilizational heritage of the Malian people and sites listed since 1988 on the World Heritage List of UNESCO.”

 

Stressing the gravity of the security situation in the Sahel-Saharan region and its impact on peace and stability in the entire region, Morocco has never ceased calling for a “decisive action and serious cooperation on regional and international levels”.  The international community have for some time ignored Morocco’s persistent warning that sub Saharan Africa is starting to transform into a safe haven for terrorist groups. Plagued by systematic state failure, sub-Saharan Africa’s failed states have helped facilitate internationally sponsored terrorist networks and operations. Huge quantities of arms, money were smuggled into radical extremist jihadist camps.  Radical movements of internationally sponsored terrorist such as al Qaeda. With the continuous abduction of European humanitarian workers in the region, it is becoming increasingly obvious that internationally sponsored terrorist networks have found a permanent home in sub-Saharan Africa and even within the hearts and minds of its people.

The situation now has become even more serious and terrorist groups are now actively recruiting more militants from within the region and wide popular support for extremist acts is on the rise in sub-Saharan Africa. Europeans are the first to suffer from this escalation of terrorist groups in the region but the United States should take this threat very seriously. It is no more a benign terrorist group as used to be described.  Sub-Saharan Africa has become the site of terrorists, and the next wave of terrorist activity. Now the occupation of the north of Mali by jihadist guerrillas has lately become a serious menace for Mali, its neighbors and Europe.

This new reality poses significant challenge for the international community, given the region’s patchwork of failed states, where terrorists can easily hide and strive. Moroccan authorities have given threat alarm for many years and have even urged strongly neighboring countries to coordinate their efforts to fight terrorism in the region.  Now France has taken the leading role to fight extremism and terrorism in that region.  The international community should follow France’s suit and act quickly to put once and for all an end to the prevailing terrorist danger in Sub-Saharan Africa.

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