- Politics and Social Issues
Al-Qaeda Islamists in Africa
Slowly but surely, the body of Africa, is succumbing to a disease. The disease are al-Qaeda Islamists taking control in parts of several countries: Yemen (close to Africa), Somalia, Nigeria, Libya (to be determined) and now Mali.
Mali is the latest. It began to unravel late last year when Tuareg separatist fighters (trained by Gadhafi) returned from the Libya uprising. They wanted to destroy the young democracy there and easily took over the size of Texas North Mali, where few live. It is mostly desert. As there numbers grew, they easily seized Timbuktu, historically belonging to them. Then, a coup occurred in South Mali in Bamako, its capital. The Tuareg fighters tried to set up a secular state, a new nation, but this failed when al-Qaeda Islamists from West Africa entered Mali and took control in the same region including Gao. This group called, Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). They are strict Islamist similar to the Taliban in extreme views. They will not even talk to women.
Nigeria has its own problems with the Boko Haram, another extreme Islamist group with connections to al-Qaeda. Many of these fighters are coming from Pakistan and Afghanistan. Of course, in Somalia, another al-Qaeda linked Islamist group holds parts of its main city.
The US and NATO send aid but nobody wants to have military forces intervene, so they are encouraging African nations to conduct military actions to retake Mali before it is too late. So far, a 3000 soldier force has been formed. It is questionable if they could take back Mali. The Libyan mess has provided ample arms to all groups, which fuel the fire.
Groups linked to America's enemy are proliferating unabated because of distance and economics.