Creating an Outpost in Northern Mali to Target Algeria
After ruling out the option of force in the face of the coup that overthrew the President of Niger, Mohamed Bazoum, on July 26, the war returned to northern Mali, targeting the peace and reconciliation agreement signed in Algeria in 2015, between the central government in Bamako and the Tuareg rebels, nearly eight years after the restoration of calm in northern Mali.
While the world is waiting for what will happen in Niger, reports multiplied about the return of fighting to northern Mali last week (Friday), returning the situation to what it was before the year 2015. The circulating story, which was confirmed by identical sources, quoted a statement issued by what is known as “the coordination of the Movement of Azawad”, stating that the Malian army, accompanied by the elements of the Russian “Wagner” group, attacked the strongholds of the Azawad movement in the north, and exactly in the “Bir” area near the city of “Timbuktu”, that is, not far from Algeria’s southern borders.
The statement of the Azawad Movement said; “We are witnessing the international community to these dangerous actions,” which it considered “a violation of all obligations and security arrangements,” according to what was quoted by the official spokesman of the Coordination Committee, which is composed mostly of Tuareg rebels, and which is considered the second party to the Algiers Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in Mali.
For its part, the Malian army spoke of a “harsh response” by the Malian armed forces in the face of what it described as “terrorists”, leaving victims on the other side, while the Azawad movement said it had halted the regular army’s advance towards the north and pushed it back south. Whatever the identity of the second party, the return of fighting to a fragile region such as northern Mali, eight years after Algeria’s peace and reconciliation agreement in this country, is a setback for efforts to bring peace to this sensitive region.
At a time when Algeria, along with some friendly countries in the Sahel region, in the European Union and the United States of America, is rushing to spare the neighbouring country of Niger a vow of war against which France and some of its affiliated countries in the Economic Organization of West African States (ECOWAS) are mobilizing, a spark of fighting erupts in northern Mali, the country that strongly supported the coup authorities in Niger, and considered any attack on it tantamount to a war against the two countries.
The events taking place in the northern regions of the State of Mali indicate that there are parties that have an interest in igniting a comprehensive crisis in the Sahel region, whose only aim is to confuse the situation by creating chaos and insecurity so that those parties can find justifications for a foreign military intervention that would add more complications to the current situation.
With the logic of geography, it can be said that the first target of the attempt to ignite the fuse of war in Niger by encouraging military intervention in this country, under the pretext of releasing the president of this country, Mohamed Bazoum, and returning him to the presidency by military force, as well as igniting another war fuse in northern Mali, is Algeria because it is the country that has long borders with these two wounded countries.
The length of the Algerian border with Mali is 1359 km, and the Algerian border with Niger extends for 951 km, which makes it a belt of fire with a length of more than 2500 km in case of war in these two countries, in addition to the flaming borders with the Kingdom of Morocco, estimated at 1739 km, in addition to 989 km with Libya, which is living in an unstable situation, and this is a given that confirms that the target is Algeria by mining its borders to exhaust it and deplete its capabilities after it was able to rise at a time of previous crises that are no less sensitive and dangerous.