Mali, the Tuareg and Gaddafi – the coup in context

Posted on March 26, 2012


by Krzysztof Pakulski

Mali is a country I’ve long wanted to visit particularly to experience first-hand its rich culture and traditions. This random bit of information has nothing to do with the country’s coup but does explain one of the factors that motivated me to dig around a little to find out.

The Pulitzer Centre has a super interesting project on Saharan Insecurity launched back in November 2010. Its tagline “the perfect storm brewing in the desert” now feels quite prophetic. One article in particular by Peter Gwin gives a fascinating insight into the factors that led one Tuareg man to join the fight in Libya – Libya: Qaddafi Recruits Tuareg | Pulitzer Center. It’s worth checking out to get one side of the story of the coup.

On the random tip the first time I heard about the Tuareg was when I was fact-checking an article on Volkswagen cars for the Financial Times’ How to Spend It magazine back in 2002. That’s globalization (or maybe just a sign of my sheer ignorance) for you…

UPDATE: ThinkAfricaPress has a very lengthy article by Andy Morgan which well worth the effort it takes to read all 11,000+ words. The piece suggests:

In truth, neither Gaddafi’s fall nor AQIM nor drugs and insecurity are the prime movers behind this latest revolt. They are just fresh opportunities and circumstances in a very old struggle… However, there are a number of key reasons why this latest uprising is different from all the others. First and foremost the level of preparation and forethought on the rebel side is unique in Tuareg rebel history.

Posted in: Development, politics