Escalating attacks and a threat to aircraft, Will France lose its historical influence in Mali?

Escalating attacks and a threat to aircraft Will France lose its historical influence in Mali?  Successive attacks, popular rejection and a public threat to its planes. This is how France continues to bleed successive blows to its influence in Mali, while on the other hand it is offset by the expansion of Russian influence in the country, which may end in its complete fall between the jaws of Moscow forever.  Day after day, the French failure to achieve the goals of his campaign in the Sahel, to which the slogan was raised, first launched, was to dry up the sources of terrorism in the Sahel and Sahara region became evident. Seven years after it led Operation Barkhan, its forces continue to receive deadly attacks throughout the region, with casualties in their ranks.  While the danger for the French does not come only from these armed groups, but in their loss of the political and military alliance on the basis of which they launched that campaign. The existing rift between it and the Malian government is increasing, which is explicitly threatening to target French military planes if they breach its airspace again.  It has also lost its most close European partners in the process. The governments of Germany, Sweden and the European Union are now skeptical about the efficacy of their continued participation there, and are threatening their withdrawal from the region.  In return for all these troubles, the French in the Sahel in general, and in Mali in particular, face a greater challenge, which is Russia's consolidation of its political influence there by the Kremlin's consolidation of its relations with these countries, and militarily through Wagner's mercenaries close to it. What may end with the fall of that region into the hands of the Russians, and the expulsion of the French historical presence from it.  Fatal attacks and threats to aircraft Seven years after the launch of Operation Barkhane, which France led at the head of an alliance to combat terrorism in the Sahel region, the French forces are still receiving deadly attacks, revealing the failure of their forces to achieve gains on the ground throughout their war there.  The last of these attacks was on Saturday, when armed men targeted a camp of Operation Barkhane forces in the city of Gao, northern Mali, with mortar shells, killing one of the French forces. The Elysee confirmed, in a statement, the killing of Brigadier General (Brigadier) Alexander Martin of the 54th Artillery Regiment of Hyeres.  The statement stressed "France's determination to pursue the fight against terrorism in the region alongside its partners." On the other hand, it is the second attack targeting its forces in one week, after an explosive device detonated as its vehicle passed through Burkina Faso on Tuesday, wounding four French soldiers.  In addition to this great threat, there is another dilemma facing the French presence in Mali, which is the rift between it and the ruling authorities in the country, which amounted to a threat to Bamako to target French planes if they penetrated its airspace.  This was announced on Tuesday, January 11, by a statement by the Malian government spokesman, Colonel Abdoulaye Maiga, who condemned the crossing of a French military plane over his country, flying from the Ivorian capital, Abidjan, to the city of Gao in northern Mali. "The financial authorities will not bear any responsibility for the risks that the perpetrators of these practices may be exposed to in the event of a new violation of financial airspace," he said.  Bleeding allies And the military government in Mali increased its messages against the French presence in the country. Messages accompanied by popular momentum represented in the massive demonstrations against Paris, denouncing the decision of the sanctions imposed by its allies in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on Bamako.  Interim Prime Minister Chogoel Kokala Maiga accused France of using ECOWAS as a tool to settle other scores, and indicated the possibility of reviewing defense agreements linking Paris and Bamako. He said: "We want to review the unbalanced agreements that make us a country that cannot even fly over its territory without permission from France."  In a statement on Tuesday to France 24, Malian Foreign Minister Abdoulaye Diop confirmed that his country had officially asked France to reconsider the defense treaty linking the two countries. A French diplomatic source said Monday: "We received a request from Mali (in this regard) and we are in the midst of its study."  While the bleeding of France's allies in Mali does not stop at this point, media reports speak of the seriousness of the European parties' talk of withdrawing their forces participating in the hostilities there.  Berlin is considering reducing its 1,100 German troops, which are participating in training Malian soldiers at the Gao base, and the government announced on January 14 its desire to end its participation in the European Special Forces (Takuba) in Mali.  The European Union is concerned about the clash with the Russian Wagner forces in Mali, and the transfer of the forces it trains in the country to the hands of the Kremlin, and thus all its efforts in this regard are lost, as happened previously in the Central African Republic. The meeting of the Union's defense ministers, and then the meeting of its foreign ministers, discussed the issue of the continued commitment of European forces to perform their tasks in Mali.  What does it mean for France to lose its historical influence in Mali? In return for the French retreat in Mali, the Russian influence there comes to fill the void. This is confirmed by several international reports, the latest of which was announced by the head of the US military command in Africa, General Stephen Townsend, in an interview with the Voice of America, and he said: "Wagner is in Mali and we believe that they are a few hundred now, deployed with the support of the army Russian Air Force planes carry them.  The same thing was confirmed by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, during a press conference, saying: "The Wagner Group is in Mali." At a time when the military government in Bamako is still denying the matter, which seized power through a military coup, and recently decided to extend its stay for another five years.  These conditions threaten to repeat the same scenario in Central Africa with Mali, where the Russian presence went beyond training the country's army to infiltrate the joints of the economically poor African country rich in natural resources. Numerous reports indicated that Wagner's forces were stationed in the vicinity of gold, diamond and uranium mining facilities in which the country's territory abounds.  From a strategic point of view, the fall of Mali into the circle of Russian influence enhances its expansion along the strip from the Horn of Africa towards Central Africa through the coast, in an area rich in natural and human resources, and opens to two sea fronts of the most important international trade lines, overlooking the Bab al-Mandab Strait and from there to the Red Sea On the other hand, it has access to the Atlantic Ocean.

Escalating attacks and a threat to aircraft, Will France lose its historical influence in Mali?


Successive attacks, popular rejection and a public threat to its planes. This is how France continues to bleed successive blows to its influence in Mali, while on the other hand it is offset by the expansion of Russian influence in the country, which may end in its complete fall between the jaws of Moscow forever.

Day after day, the French failure to achieve the goals of his campaign in the Sahel, to which the slogan was raised, first launched, was to dry up the sources of terrorism in the Sahel and Sahara region became evident. Seven years after it led Operation Barkhan, its forces continue to receive deadly attacks throughout the region, with casualties in their ranks.

While the danger for the French does not come only from these armed groups, but in their loss of the political and military alliance on the basis of which they launched that campaign. The existing rift between it and the Malian government is increasing, which is explicitly threatening to target French military planes if they breach its airspace again.

It has also lost its most close European partners in the process. The governments of Germany, Sweden and the European Union are now skeptical about the efficacy of their continued participation there, and are threatening their withdrawal from the region.

In return for all these troubles, the French in the Sahel in general, and in Mali in particular, face a greater challenge, which is Russia's consolidation of its political influence there by the Kremlin's consolidation of its relations with these countries, and militarily through Wagner's mercenaries close to it. What may end with the fall of that region into the hands of the Russians, and the expulsion of the French historical presence from it.

Fatal attacks and threats to aircraft
Seven years after the launch of Operation Barkhane, which France led at the head of an alliance to combat terrorism in the Sahel region, the French forces are still receiving deadly attacks, revealing the failure of their forces to achieve gains on the ground throughout their war there.

The last of these attacks was on Saturday, when armed men targeted a camp of Operation Barkhane forces in the city of Gao, northern Mali, with mortar shells, killing one of the French forces. The Elysee confirmed, in a statement, the killing of Brigadier General (Brigadier) Alexander Martin of the 54th Artillery Regiment of Hyeres.

The statement stressed "France's determination to pursue the fight against terrorism in the region alongside its partners." On the other hand, it is the second attack targeting its forces in one week, after an explosive device detonated as its vehicle passed through Burkina Faso on Tuesday, wounding four French soldiers.

In addition to this great threat, there is another dilemma facing the French presence in Mali, which is the rift between it and the ruling authorities in the country, which amounted to a threat to Bamako to target French planes if they penetrated its airspace.

This was announced on Tuesday, January 11, by a statement by the Malian government spokesman, Colonel Abdoulaye Maiga, who condemned the crossing of a French military plane over his country, flying from the Ivorian capital, Abidjan, to the city of Gao in northern Mali. "The financial authorities will not bear any responsibility for the risks that the perpetrators of these practices may be exposed to in the event of a new violation of financial airspace," he said.

Bleeding allies
And the military government in Mali increased its messages against the French presence in the country. Messages accompanied by popular momentum represented in the massive demonstrations against Paris, denouncing the decision of the sanctions imposed by its allies in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on Bamako.

Interim Prime Minister Chogoel Kokala Maiga accused France of using ECOWAS as a tool to settle other scores, and indicated the possibility of reviewing defense agreements linking Paris and Bamako. He said: "We want to review the unbalanced agreements that make us a country that cannot even fly over its territory without permission from France."

In a statement on Tuesday to France 24, Malian Foreign Minister Abdoulaye Diop confirmed that his country had officially asked France to reconsider the defense treaty linking the two countries. A French diplomatic source said Monday: "We received a request from Mali (in this regard) and we are in the midst of its study."

While the bleeding of France's allies in Mali does not stop at this point, media reports speak of the seriousness of the European parties' talk of withdrawing their forces participating in the hostilities there.

Berlin is considering reducing its 1,100 German troops, which are participating in training Malian soldiers at the Gao base, and the government announced on January 14 its desire to end its participation in the European Special Forces (Takuba) in Mali.

The European Union is concerned about the clash with the Russian Wagner forces in Mali, and the transfer of the forces it trains in the country to the hands of the Kremlin, and thus all its efforts in this regard are lost, as happened previously in the Central African Republic. The meeting of the Union's defense ministers, and then the meeting of its foreign ministers, discussed the issue of the continued commitment of European forces to perform their tasks in Mali.

What does it mean for France to lose its historical influence in Mali?
In return for the French retreat in Mali, the Russian influence there comes to fill the void. This is confirmed by several international reports, the latest of which was announced by the head of the US military command in Africa, General Stephen Townsend, in an interview with the Voice of America, and he said: "Wagner is in Mali and we believe that they are a few hundred now, deployed with the support of the army Russian Air Force planes carry them.

The same thing was confirmed by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, during a press conference, saying: "The Wagner Group is in Mali." At a time when the military government in Bamako is still denying the matter, which seized power through a military coup, and recently decided to extend its stay for another five years.

These conditions threaten to repeat the same scenario in Central Africa with Mali, where the Russian presence went beyond training the country's army to infiltrate the joints of the economically poor African country rich in natural resources. Numerous reports indicated that Wagner's forces were stationed in the vicinity of gold, diamond and uranium mining facilities in which the country's territory abounds.

From a strategic point of view, the fall of Mali into the circle of Russian influence enhances its expansion along the strip from the Horn of Africa towards Central Africa through the coast, in an area rich in natural and human resources, and opens to two sea fronts of the most important international trade lines, overlooking the Bab al-Mandab Strait and from there to the Red Sea On the other hand, it has access to the Atlantic Ocean.

Johnson scandals continue British Prime Minister held a birthday party during lockdown  A TV channel revealed that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson held a birthday party during the first COVID-19 lockdown in June 2020.  British Prime Minister Boris Johnson held a birthday party during the first COVID-19 lockdown in June 2020 when authorities banned indoor social gatherings, ITV News reported Monday.  This disclosure increased pressure on Johnson over a series of gatherings at his home in 10 Downing Street, which appeared to violate the closure rules imposed by his government to limit the spread of the Corona virus.  His office rejected the claim that the gathering was a party, telling the channel: "A group of employees working in ten (Downing Street) on that day briefly gathered in the Cabinet room after a meeting to wish the Prime Minister a happy birthday."  "He (the prime minister) was there for less than 10 minutes," he added. The channel said it was reported that the Prime Minister's wife, Carrie Johnson, helped organize the event on the afternoon of June 19.  And the channel reported that "up to 30 people attended the ceremony at the headquarters of the Council of Ministers." She added that it is believed that a cake was served to the Prime Minister while his wife led the staff in chanting "Happy Birthday to you".  One of the attendees was designer Lulu Little, who was renovating Johnson's apartment in the building, she said.  The channel added that it understood that family friends were hosted at the Prime Minister's house the night before.  His office denied it. A spokesperson told the channel: "Not true at all In keeping with the rules at the time, the Prime Minister hosted a few family members outside that evening."  A national distraction The Christmas allegations add to the scandal ravaging Johnson. Senior Cabinet Secretary Sue Gray is investigating such gatherings and is expected to issue a report this week.  Johnson offered a variety of explanations for the previously reported parties. He initially said that "no rules were broken before he apologized to the British people afterwards".  Opposition leader Keir Starmer said of the Christmas gathering: "This is further evidence that we have a prime minister who thinks the rules he has set do not apply to him."  He added, "We cannot afford to continue this chaotic, aimless government. The prime minister is a national distraction and he must leave."

Johnson scandals continue British Prime Minister held a birthday party during lockdown


A TV channel revealed that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson held a birthday party during the first COVID-19 lockdown in June 2020.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson held a birthday party during the first COVID-19 lockdown in June 2020 when authorities banned indoor social gatherings, ITV News reported Monday.

This disclosure increased pressure on Johnson over a series of gatherings at his home in 10 Downing Street, which appeared to violate the closure rules imposed by his government to limit the spread of the Corona virus.

His office rejected the claim that the gathering was a party, telling the channel: "A group of employees working in ten (Downing Street) on that day briefly gathered in the Cabinet room after a meeting to wish the Prime Minister a happy birthday."

"He (the prime minister) was there for less than 10 minutes," he added.
The channel said it was reported that the Prime Minister's wife, Carrie Johnson, helped organize the event on the afternoon of June 19.

And the channel reported that "up to 30 people attended the ceremony at the headquarters of the Council of Ministers." She added that it is believed that a cake was served to the Prime Minister while his wife led the staff in chanting "Happy Birthday to you".

One of the attendees was designer Lulu Little, who was renovating Johnson's apartment in the building, she said.

The channel added that it understood that family friends were hosted at the Prime Minister's house the night before.

His office denied it.
A spokesperson told the channel: "Not true at all In keeping with the rules at the time, the Prime Minister hosted a few family members outside that evening."

A national distraction
The Christmas allegations add to the scandal ravaging Johnson.
Senior Cabinet Secretary Sue Gray is investigating such gatherings and is expected to issue a report this week.

Johnson offered a variety of explanations for the previously reported parties. He initially said that "no rules were broken before he apologized to the British people afterwards".

Opposition leader Keir Starmer said of the Christmas gathering: "This is further evidence that we have a prime minister who thinks the rules he has set do not apply to him."

He added, "We cannot afford to continue this chaotic, aimless government. The prime minister is a national distraction and he must leave."


"The Fourth Mafia" A new octopus causes terror in Italy  After years of authorities ignoring the seriousness of their criminal activities, the "Fourth Mafia" is stirring terror in the southern Italian region of Puglia.  In a report published by the Swiss newspaper "Lotan" Le Temps, the writer Antonino Galovaro says that a number of shops in the cities of Foggia and San Severo in the Puglia region were attacked with 9 bombs at the beginning of this year, against the background of arrests among a number of local mafias.  According to the writer, what is known as the "Fourth Mafia" (La quarta mafia) has become the headlines in Italian newspapers and media, only to discover that the Italians "discover a new octopus whose legs have been strangling Foggia in secrecy for three decades."  The writer explains that the Puglia mafia was called the "Fourth Mafia", because it appeared after the three most famous criminal organizations in Italian history, which are the "Cosa Nostra" mafia in Sicily, the 'Ndrangheta mafia in Calabria, and the Camorra mafia in Naples.  The "Fourth Mafia" consists of 3 sub-mafias, but it did not receive - according to the author - sufficient attention from the authorities during the past years, despite its danger, as evidenced by the failure to open a branch of the Anti-Mafia Investigation Department in the region until early 2020.  Antonio Laronga, Foggia's deputy public prosecutor, asserts that these organizations "were categorized as gangs of delinquents, killing each other to control illegal activities, but not endangering the economic and administrative life of the territory."  How did the mafia appear in Puglia? Larunga explains why the authorities did not pay attention to the activities of the mafia in Puglia during the last period, stressing that understanding the phenomenon requires a return to the history of mafias in the neighboring regions, specifically in the seventies of the last century when the conflict erupted between two Camorra mafia gangs in Naples.  Because of the repeated confrontations inside the prison, members of one of the two gangs were transferred to Puglia, and this was, according to him, a "strategic mistake", because they supervised the training of new prisoners in the area to become gang members.  Larunga adds that these petty criminals later decided to separate from the Camorra mafia and form new mafia gangs in Foggia and Cherniola, and in the meantime a third mafia arose after a guerrilla war in the Gargano mountains. The three organizations were classified as mafias with final rulings issued between 1999 and 2009.  After 25 years of working to combat criminal organizations in the region, Laronga is still convinced of the possibility of "overcoming these gangs", and says that the battle against them is security and cultural, so he visits schools to raise awareness among young people, and last year he published a book entitled " Fourth Mafia.  Rocco Sharoni, a professor of sociology specializing in the study of the mafia at the University of Turin, believes that the state contributes in part to the mafia industry because of "tolerance of activities and behaviors that enjoy a degree of social legitimacy, such as the black market and tax evasion. In Italy there is a significant lack of laws regulating the relationship between public life and economic activities.

"The Fourth Mafia" A new octopus causes terror in Italy


After years of authorities ignoring the seriousness of their criminal activities, the "Fourth Mafia" is stirring terror in the southern Italian region of Puglia.

In a report published by the Swiss newspaper "Lotan" Le Temps, the writer Antonino Galovaro says that a number of shops in the cities of Foggia and San Severo in the Puglia region were attacked with 9 bombs at the beginning of this year, against the background of arrests among a number of local mafias.

According to the writer, what is known as the "Fourth Mafia" (La quarta mafia) has become the headlines in Italian newspapers and media, only to discover that the Italians "discover a new octopus whose legs have been strangling Foggia in secrecy for three decades."

The writer explains that the Puglia mafia was called the "Fourth Mafia", because it appeared after the three most famous criminal organizations in Italian history, which are the "Cosa Nostra" mafia in Sicily, the 'Ndrangheta mafia in Calabria, and the Camorra mafia in Naples.

The "Fourth Mafia" consists of 3 sub-mafias, but it did not receive - according to the author - sufficient attention from the authorities during the past years, despite its danger, as evidenced by the failure to open a branch of the Anti-Mafia Investigation Department in the region until early 2020.

Antonio Laronga, Foggia's deputy public prosecutor, asserts that these organizations "were categorized as gangs of delinquents, killing each other to control illegal activities, but not endangering the economic and administrative life of the territory."

How did the mafia appear in Puglia?
Larunga explains why the authorities did not pay attention to the activities of the mafia in Puglia during the last period, stressing that understanding the phenomenon requires a return to the history of mafias in the neighboring regions, specifically in the seventies of the last century when the conflict erupted between two Camorra mafia gangs in Naples.

Because of the repeated confrontations inside the prison, members of one of the two gangs were transferred to Puglia, and this was, according to him, a "strategic mistake", because they supervised the training of new prisoners in the area to become gang members.

Larunga adds that these petty criminals later decided to separate from the Camorra mafia and form new mafia gangs in Foggia and Cherniola, and in the meantime a third mafia arose after a guerrilla war in the Gargano mountains. The three organizations were classified as mafias with final rulings issued between 1999 and 2009.

After 25 years of working to combat criminal organizations in the region, Laronga is still convinced of the possibility of "overcoming these gangs", and says that the battle against them is security and cultural, so he visits schools to raise awareness among young people, and last year he published a book entitled " Fourth Mafia.

Rocco Sharoni, a professor of sociology specializing in the study of the mafia at the University of Turin, believes that the state contributes in part to the mafia industry because of "tolerance of activities and behaviors that enjoy a degree of social legitimacy, such as the black market and tax evasion. In Italy there is a significant lack of laws regulating the relationship between public life and economic activities.
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