This may be hard to believe...but...every once in awhile...the DUNER BLOG makes a mistake. For example, we're not too proud of our post: LANCE ARMSTRONG IS A HERO (Aug. 29). We also blew it with MAYAN DOOMSDAY WILL HAPPEN (May 24). Anyhow, events occurred in West Africa last week that you might have missed. They unfortunately discredit another post from last year: AZAWAD: THE NEWEST AFRICAN NATION? (March 28). It seems troops from France invaded Mali and liberated the Northern Provinces, thus ending the reign of our new, renegade nation...and thus proving the DUNER BLOG wrong. D'oh!
Oops! Way Too Much Information to digest in that opening paragraph. Let's start with your most obvious question: France successfully invaded another nation? No way! Alright...let's put this silly American joke to rest. Despite being invaded by Germany twice last century, overall the French have a pretty high success rate on the battlefields of the world. Napoleon won 80% of his battles. Only Britain colonized more territory. Therefore, it came as no surprise when France came to the aid the Malian Army. The Air Force conducted a swift and effective operation, liberating a million square kilometers of territory.
Next up: What's in the future for Azawad? This is the most difficult question to answer. While the area has been cleared of the Jihadists (they're Niger's problem now!), the Malian Army has been hesitant to send in ground forces to reclaim the territory. They say the region is littered with landmines, armed with tiny guerrilla groups and houses hostile civilians. They're right! France's military operations were largely from the air...they didn't want any troops to be killed. The bottom line is no one wants to mess with a bunch of armed yahoo renegade terrorists living in the Sahara Desert. Currently, the plan is to wait for the African Union to assemble a force to reunite the nation.
|Timbuktu in better times.|