Excerpts from two articles published in Fraternité, the newspaper of
the Algerian Workers Party (Parti des Travailleurs, PT)
Behind the March Towards War ... «Colossal Interests»
An interview with Sissiko Cheick Oumar, president of the SADI
party(1), conducted by Fraternité, the newspaper of the Workers Party
Fraternité : Facing the threats of military intervention against Mali
which are taking shape, could you give us a rundown on the latest
political developments ?
Answer: Allow me to express profound consideration for your party, the
Workers Party of Algeria (PT) and your nation, which won its
independence through bitter struggles, at the cost of many sacrifices,
half a century ago.
In several of the western capitals today, scenarios are afoot to make
the peoples pay the bill for the capitalist system's crisis.
From this point of view, Libya was the first victim, and apparently
Algeria should have followed. But, fortunately for your country, the
catastrophic scenario has barely been avoided. Mobilisation, first of
all by your party, and the positions of the Algerian authorities
against war have, for the moment, kept the threat at bay.
Mali, unfortunately, is a direct victim of the NATO intervention in
Libya. It must be remembered that just after the overthrow of the
Gaddafi regime, heavily armed men crossed the great desert without in
the least being noticed, constantly swept though it is by US
satellites, and triumphantly entered the north of Mali.
The lightening defeat of the Mali regular army can be explained by the
pathetic means at its disposal, on the one hand, and by the supremacy
of logistics of the several armed groups who were able to reinforce
their arsenal in Libya. The current chaotic situation is being used by
the governments of the great powers to set up docile authorities at
the head of the State of Mali, who are implementing policies that are
in conformity with foreign interests.
The Prime Minister, who was deposed by the army last December 12th,
was working to accelerate foreign military intervention. That is the
reason why the Malian people did not react against his destitution.
We desire a dialogue between all the stakeholders representative of
the civil society of Mali, in order to emerge from the present
Territorial integrity and external non-interference are the two
fundamental points that need to unite all the Malian people.
Elections without settlement of the current problems are not a
solution. Moreover, it was ex-president Amadou Toumani Touré's will to
seek a third term (whilst the Constitution allows for two terms) in
the midst of the unrest that is tearing the country apart that
provoked the army intervention last March 22nd for his removal.
Since then, events have accelerated with, notably, the Azawed Movement
for National Liberation (the MNLA), politically and financially backed
by France, which has proclaimed independence for the north of the
country, in other words, the partitioning of Mali. The western
countries are manipulating and acting to break apart our country and
the entire Sahel region. The multiplying of terrorist groups,
trafficking of all sorts and narco-trafficking are the essential
activities in the north of the country. This is a consequence of the
1994 Agreements, which planned for a symbolic military presence in the
north of the country. It is this organised chaos that is being used
today to justify the march towards war.
What the media are not saying is that there are colossal interests and
strategic interests in the huge region of Mali. Oil, uranium, enormous
subsurface water resources and farmable lands are all coveted by
French, Qatar and US multinationals.
We must also not forget the Tassalit (near Kidal) airport platform,
which the Americans and the French want to transform into a vast
military base to keep watch over and control the entire region of the
Sahel, the Mediterranean and the Red Sea. It is a military base that
can receive big war planes and, besides, is inaccessible and
unassailable as it is located right in the middle of the desert.
Furthermore, we need to point out the extremely harmful role being
played by Qatar, which is financing and arming Islamic armed groups.
This country is clearly acting as a subcontractor to imperialism's
policy in Africa and the Middle East.
Humanitarian aid is directly managed by the donating countries and the
authorities do not know what is really being distributed; legitimate
sources have mentioned weapons distribution in packages that are
supposed to contain food.
As in Libya, non-official information include reports of clandestine
agreements between the multinationals and Qatar to grab hold of the
oil markets in the north of Mali. Contrary to what the media would
have us believe, Malian people have mobilised massively several times
against the war, and refuse that the ECOWAS [the ECOWAS is the
Economic Community of West African States, or the CEDEAO, which is the
Communauté Economique des Etats de l'Afrique de l'Ouest - editor's
note], under French influence, jeopardize the attributes of national
sovereignty. Because the ECOWAS-CEDEAO acts by procuration for the
benefit of the French government. It was popular mobilisation that
prevented Alassane Ouattara's coming to Bamako when he wanted to
assist in the installing of a « legitmate » power to justify foreign
Fraternité: According to you, where does the solution lie ?
Answer: Because all the countries of the region are concerned by the
developments underway, the solidarity between the peoples and the
political forces and trade unions of the countries of the region needs
to be expressed, so that they may combine their efforts in order to
help organise the defence of our respective countries.
Fraternité: The need for holding a second session of the Emergency
Conference against Wars of Occupation and Pillage is making itself
felt. What is your opinion on that?
Answer: Our trip to Algeria in order to meet exclusively with the
representatives of the PT is part of our seeking for means to prevent
a war against my country.
In order to safeguard the nations and to enable the people, the
workers and the youth to live off the wealth of their respective
countries, we should help each other.
For all these considerations, the SADI party will put all its energy
into preparing this second session of the Emergency Conference, the
first of which, in December 2011, we also participated in.
We will be preparing the conference along with the trade unions of my
country, and we will be informing on this initiative to our ALNEF (2)
partners, in order to make for broad participation that will build up
the struggle against the war.
Interview by R.Y.T.
- - - - -
(1) African Solidarity for Democracy and Independence, a political party of Mali
(2) ALNEF, the African Left Networking Forum, is the African alliance
of parties of the left
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Algeria Remains the Central Target of the Intervention
During his visit to Algeria last December 19-20, French President
François Hollande declared in his press conference organised in
Algiers that "the positions of Algeria and France converge" on Mali
while explaining that he "favoured a political solution through
dialogue with the Tuareg rebels who had fully broken with the
terrorists." (L'Expression, December 23)
But, the next day, contradicting his declarations of the day before,
in his speech delivered at the Tlemcen university, he hailed the UN
Security Council's adoption of Resolution 2085, which authorises the
deployment of an international force under African command (the MISMA)
for an initial duration of one year.
Whereas Resolution 2085 does not set a precise agenda for the
launching of a military attack in Mali, French Defence Minister
Jean-Yves Le Drian, "did not shrink from taking liberties with the
United Nations resolution" when declaring in an interview with a
French newspaper that "the military intervention could take place
during the first half of 2013" (Le Courrier d'Algérie, December 25).
In the same interview, the French minister affirmed, "For the time
being there is no political solution" in Mali, etting it show that he
was not satisfied with the terms of the resolution, which hamper the
warmongering stance of his government. Indeed, at the onset, the US
government, which expressed its reservations regarding an immediate
military intervention, rejected the French plan supported by the
ECOWAS-CEDEAO (1). Susan Rice, the US ambassador to the United Nations
said of the French plan, It's crap".
According to French Foreign Affairs Minister Laurent Fabius, the US
leaders have put forward « two essential elements. The first is that
this is going to cost money. The United States considers that it is
very difficult to go before Congress and ask for money. The second
argument is that the United States will put forward that armed
intervention necessitates 'strong military support' when 'it is a
question of confronting terrorists' » (Le Temps d'Algérie, December
More explicitly, Johnnie Carson, US Deputy State Secretary of State,
estimated that the ECOWAS-CEDEAO plans (elaborated by France) "fail to
address several essential issues", among which are "the capacity of
the forces -- Malian and International -- to achieve the objective of
the mission" and its financing, estimated "at least 200 million
If Resolution 2085, and more precisely the US administration, exclude
military intervention for the time being in Mali, it is because -- as
explained in the newspaper Le Quotidien d'Oran (December 25), « the
idea of intervention would seem to bank, strangely enough, on a
decisive participation of the Algerian Army. Now, even if Algeria does
not exclude military intervention against groups of jihadists, it is
unthinkable that it would engage in an operation that would involve it
in an internal conflict in Mali, the complications of which it is all
too aware. » So, the newspaper concludes, « between the certitude that
the ECOWAS forces are not in a position to do the job and Algeria's
refusal to engage in an operation, the options remaining are not many.
The French, who don't want to be on the 'front line' would have to
decide to 'go it alone' if they persist in the option of an immediate
military action. »
As long as the major imperialist powers, the United States and France,
do not choose to intervene directly because of the cost and of the
internal political consequences of such an operation, as long as they
do not find the proxy states to do so in their stead, the war meant to
disintegrate Sahel may not be for tomorrow.
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