tv [untitled] April 6, 2012 11:30am-12:00pm EDT
well. technology innovation all the developments around russia we've got the future coverage. at seven thirty pm moscow time these are the top stories on our t.v. moscow denounces victor good sentencing in the u.s. as politically motivated as the russian businessman gets twenty five years behind bars food was convicted of conspiring to sell weapons to terrorists and kill americans. reports of ongoing violence in syria despite a u.n. ultimatum that both sides must reach a cease fire by next week president also saying he's already withdrawing troops
from certain areas. and french muslims claim they're being scapegoated in the wake of the deadly shootings and to lose they say they're bearing the brunt of a heavy crackdown on extremism ahead of the presidential vote. now with instability instability in the gulf in mali right now peter the ask his gas watson store for the embattled african nation. still make. the. director's cut of real life in prison on charges he. can start.
flowing welcome across town concrete about molly in a mess in the wake of the recent military coup there are growing fears that his african state could plunge into protracted civil strife that could result in a failed state and a safe haven for terrorists for the people of mali what is its state security or democracy or neither. can still see. the cross-talk the recent military coup in mali i'm joined by peter pham in washington he is the director of the atlantic council's michael and sorry africa center and in london we go to james snyder he is the editor in chief of think africa press all right gentlemen this is cross talk you can jump in anytime you want and i very much encourage it peter if i'm if i go to you in washington first what is in play here let's before we talk about what's
going on with the coup now and afterwards let's talk about how we got there i mean there seems to be this rule of thumb is that critics of the libya intervention say i told you so the law of unintended consequences if you shake up the regime forcefully and impose order there you're going to have a large undesirable effect and we've got one in mali is that a fair reading a fair narrative. well i think there's a great deal of truth in it the fact is for all his faults colonel gadhafi was more or less in his box in recent years and he kept by himself all sorts of undesirable actors once that regime collapsed some of these actors including some of the toerags who are now causing the problems in northern mali returned home bringing with them weapons and fighters and that has spread throughout the same hell region and we're going to be dealing with these outflows from libya in the next year or two several years cross the sub region ok if i can stay with you could this have
been predicted should have been predicted i think you wrote about it before this happened i wrote about it over a year ago saying that these are second third order consequences that are inevitably going to flow so if you're going to intervene in libya you'd better have a contingency plan to deal with this for sure that was drowned out in the period of the conflict but even after the conflict the governments of this region spoke up in november last year i host of the foreign minister of mali who is now being held prisoner by the junta in washington as he came and made a personal plea for assistance to deal with the situation that was engulfing his country already and he saw this very clearly several months ago ok james what do you think about that narrative of because you can say also a lot of people say this coup was in the making for our very very long time and we've had these kind of disturbances for decades since independence. i don't think
that the uprising that has pretty much directly to do with the fall of gadhafi actually. helps for the particular timing and the intensity of this rebellion this rebellion was planned before before the uprising benghazi before the nato intervention in libya the political arm of the it was formed in october two thousand and ten long before the uprising in benghazi to the military plans had been delayed by hunger who was in libya at the time but he'd been planning this from two thousand and nine onward so i i think that the fall of gadhafi. sped up the rebellion the time of the rebellion and possibly gotten more arms but i don't think that this is a direct consequence i don't think the narrative is that ok peter what do you think about that in washington it's an episode nominal i think about a direct result. but surely the the the the tensions in the north the grievances
legitimate or not what can debate of the torah those are all are you going problems but certainly there was a new employee sport without all fires that's why the m.l.o. u.s. military commander. is a colonel in the libyan army maybe he would have been sent anyway but the fact is he had the fighters that for me the the tip of the spear here in the simulator is that it's a military you have james jump in here and he defected from the libyan military. hunger what he was doing in libya having been chased out by. government allied militia from from mali in two thousand and nine i was trying to encourage. members of the gadhafi military to come back to join them in a way and to bring with them. vehicles which they. which they did and it's
interesting to see that it was long before he actually fell ok after the benghazi uprising but before gadhafi fell and also importantly before the no fly zone that senior commander started to leave the forces taken with them. and heading back towards northern mali in order. jane let me jump in right here i mean the military in mali said to dave done with they have done because the civil authorities didn't give them the arms they needed to fight the rebellion uprising so i mean in a way and i might just define a coup here but the military saying we have to protect the sovereignty of this country because the civil government is not doing that and that story is beginning to come out now i mean you're talking about weaponry going into the country because of the libyan situation and then we have the military in mali saying we have to protect sovereignty i mean it's not so clear cut is it. because the the
fall of. some of it is not the prime driver. behind it was already building up weaponry and they could have got from elsewhere as well as before the fall of gadhafi. coincidental in terms of timing and then it is helped intensify it and speed up populations but this has. to take place at some point and at some point soon anyway with or without the fall of gadhafi peter what about the legitimacy of protecting the state sovereignty ok i mean that's the justification we can talk about the the merits of the democracy in their country if we want but they came out and said we have to protect the borders of this country and their arms coming in we have a minority they've been trying to break away for of long time now i mean what are the justifications there i mean it's security versus democracy versus constitutional order etc etc again it's not black and white. you know it's a black and white although i would say this much about the actual home to the took
power the justifications they're advancing now are just locations which have a reason behind them and certainly a certain cretin's but they're an invented ex post facto and the fact is the coup that occurred on the night between the twenty first and second of march was for all intents and purposes an accidental coup which started out as a small mutiny and it cascaded before too long into a full fledged rebellion it was not planned out it was junior level officers acting up and because the state was actually so inefficient. they turned into a coup so now they're advancing the justifications which are to be taken seriously but we also hold a little suspect the timing now as for the government that was overthrown all right certainly he just said the timing and i think you're getting at the coming election that's going to happen right there and again we have the hunted saying they're going to have they want to democratic order but we have elections just around the
corner i mean if they waited a couple of weeks well i that's why i think this is like call this the accidental coup they certainly had grievances they had problems with the government that was in power and i'm not sure they planned out to overthrow it but it cascaded very quickly got out of control and they ended up with a coup and now they have a whole into so i think the timing was probably indicates that this was not a well thought out conspiracy if it was actually pre-planned at all to begin with but that being said now they've got it and now they have they need the rest of the world have to deal with the situation ok as we have it today not as we would like to do but james it sounds like an accidental mess for everybody. i absolutely agree it's not. exactly the same thing i think i agree entirely with peter's narrative but i think it was something that went to roy and it's happened in terms of going back to your previous question about the merits of security versus democracy and so on the. syrian army already. has been remarkably
unsuccessful at securing and clearing the territorial integrity of mali which is what they went for which is which was the original reason for. their justification for the killing and you can you can see that because they can negotiate with the m.l.a. the they have sought negotiation in the past and as a way in which he can see war in the north and our prices in north his cards have been part of a long ago sation which has been taking place sort of fifty years between. governments. except us. so it is an accidental situation but. they've failed dismally in getting a security they can't negotiate and they won't be negotiated with and they can't be a negotiation in till there is a legitimate government that is able to actually get to a base in table and make some forms and concessions peter if you look at the rebels
have been remarkably successful why would you want to negotiate they've got wind of it right now you succeeded where they have been beyond their wildest imaginations a. few months ago. though certainly there are good position and as the confusion continues with the junta flailing away in bomber co they're only going to consolidate their hold in the north so they're going to be in a very strong negotiating position when we have an interlocutor to represent the government of mali that can talk to them so i think they've they've certainly scored a strategic success very much so now they're going to consolidate that and that's something that the international community has to watch and i think the responsible thing to do to encourage is the fact that there are legitimate grievances and and desires of the north of especially among the torah eggs but other peoples in the north as well that they have to be met in some way shape or form. is preoccupying is the presence of the islamist forces that i want to get to that point in the next
time i want to go to that next point in the next president james real quick before we go to the break how the claims for independence for the rebels right now how legitimate. definitely. i'm not so far as saying that they necessarily have a cause for independence but they certainly have grievances that have not met the concessions that would be made to them in the previous peace accords just a few years ago and again in the early ninety's were not entirely met and they do have legitimate grievances and it is clear that some form of increased autonomy and integration of. international life is required and it is ok we'll talk about the security element in the next part of the program after a short break we'll continue our discussion on the situation in mali state.
a potential failed state. live can. see. if you don't have a. back to our guest in washington peter you know when we were there seems another facet we haven't discussed and i wanted to put in this part of the program is the presence of al qaeda and other islamic fundamentalist terrorist groups whatever you want to toggle you want to put them on to what degree is that being overestimated and underestimated as events play out in mali well peter i think you hit the nail right on the head it's both over and underestimated overestimated in the sense that some media reports talk about al-qaeda in the islamic magreb as if we're dealing with a monolithic organization or a pyramidal structure where in fact it's a very diffuse organization increasingly factionalized with with some of its components engaging more criminal activities for enrichment then terrorist
activities but it does also clearly also contain a hardline element as well so it's a very diffuse entity on the other hand i think there's a very there's an opposite tendency to dismiss the islamists and focus on the nationalist element of the uprising while the majority of torak are clearly. not pursuing an islamist agenda there is a component among them which has been asserting itself since the fall of the three regional capitals in the north in the administration of those cities we see it in the doll we see in timbuktu we see it in galo where this group and our d.n.a. led by this long connected character iago ali is clearly asserting itself well i think there could be a struggle within the the toerag movement but so we shouldn't overestimate the danger but we certainly shouldn't dismiss it out of hand either james do you stand on that because they you know when you threw in the all qaeda element and then it becomes a much broader picture story it's not you know poor little molly struggling here
becomes an international story certainly a regional story i mean to what degree is it over underestimate in your mind. i think it's overestimated for the same reasons that peter just said but i do i disagree with what he just said. i agree that there is going to be a struggle between them and an answer in which there always was going to be regardless of whether there is an islamic tinge to answer the in the secular nationalist tension the m.l.a. let's not forget that the leaders of dance are. garley was the leader of the uprising in the early ninety's he also tried to become a leader in october of last year of the m.l.a. but was rejected because it was thought by many toric nationalist that he betrayed the cause and was to post to mali in the peace negotiations in the early ninety's so he then went off after failing to become leader of the m.l.a.
to go to his tribal his tribal group in northern kadar region to see if they would allow him to be their leader but. they've been having so he set up his his own group and his own group has a more islamic ten years also less about a call in terms of the months for independence and statements coming out from amman commanders suggest that yes once. one so secured an order the northern territory there will be some sort of struggle between the two that has been the endless pattern in the uprisings is there is this unity between between competing factions i also don't completely agree that. being are really trying to gain the upper hand in the three towns once they've been taken in actually probably
is that the m.l.a. have left to garrison the towns was taken strictly to positions against invasion or. counter attack from southern forces i think it's quite. to say that. certain cells. ok peter it's very interesting because he be molly's been seen as a important player to one degree or another depending on who you want to believe in america's war on terror against al qaeda and other groups in africa i mean how much is this strategy been disturbed because we have the head of the hunter was trained by americans. yes so were most officers of his grade or above in mali but certainly i think the partnership the us has had with mali for over a decade on color terrorism had its ups and downs certainly the emphasis on counterterrorism. helped build up
a certain capacity within the bali military but it also made it somewhat unique demential they were good at hunting terrorists but they clearly were pretty well prepared to fight a counterinsurgency and so i think there that strategy well peter schiff a little more your version of our really preempted me on that point was. very interesting toy james i think it's a very interesting point and that's what i was trying to kind of lead all of us down to is that the americans have their agenda for the region against certain groups and then you have the local officials there in military in mali saying well we want to control our own country's borders but there are these outsiders americans they just want to go after these islamic figures if it's al qaeda and others and they are they're not the same so in some ways a kind of reminds me a little bit of pakistan on a minor scale go ahead james i think if you if you look at the bunch of wiki leaks cables from two thousand six hundred thousand and ten. and you can see from those two very interesting things one is
a military not. wasn't very good at all and also didn't really gauge very often. different elements of. the islamic magreb one and two. tends to target the m. and a with connection to a.q.i.m. it was more the m. and a or it was pretty decisive groups led by behind who died in august last year who were actually fighting against a.q. i had them and it's the one thing that the way of consistently said is that once they have taken as to what they were trying to i am. out of the area ok peter what do you think about that because again i mean it looks like there are different agendas being played out here and we have to wonder how they're going to deal with this one to there because i mean again you know the people of mali have to decide you know if it's democracy or security and the region has to think in africa itself and then there's the outside players like the united states and nato when we look
at what happened in libya is this going to be another mission creep or are they just going to sit there and watch and see what happens because we have this really hemorrhaging from issue from libya going into mali that's fueling this. right i think several points one is we're going to run for now both the united states and europe have low cut i was all assistance to mali except for basic humanitarian assistance feeding people from the drought and famine all the development assistance when cotton certainly military assistance has been cut so at some point they're going to have to make a decision whether the whole at hearing to the principle of no extra legal unconstitutional changes of government where that creates a tension with security concerns and i carry with which aims there are other inference and we have to recognize not just the u.s. and europe and first but neighboring countries have their own interests and their own spins that they're going to put on this both in terms of defending themselves
and in the greater balance of power within the sub region so for example today general carter ham the commander of the u.s. africa command is in algeria meeting with the algerian president and his top advisers clearly the perspective they're going to get for algeria on this crisis is going to be entirely different from what they're going to get if they were to martina or the share much less if they went and they could go on the ground in in mali and engage actually mali in society ok james but nobody wants to see a failed state in the center of africa do they i mean i know what i'm what i'm getting at is that what they are hearing you were here to hear what peter said in washington is you know there's going to be punishment of the one thing to do certain things or not do certain things but it is certain point you don't want you to see collapse go ahead. i don't think we are going to see a failsafe i also think currently the current sanctions that are being paid by us will have will have an effect and we're seeing about playing out now negotiations
between go is trying to play for time trying to work out his exit strategy. i don't think that we're going to see state collapse and so on i mean it may take it may take a week it may take a month it may play six months made me take a year but there will be an end to the military going to return to some kind of constitutional government at some point elections and that really is the necessary precursor from the perspective of the south of mali if it wants to try to retake the north because it's going to require the last system to do so just not going to help i mean it seems to. me with you james there's a big worry is of course is this area that the rebels have control of in whatever affiliation they have with al-qaeda and other groups people worry that they're just going to turn in july another afghanistan before nine eleven and just did it turn into a haven for terrorists and drug dealers in crime and i mean how long can you wait
and long can you just watch for i'm afraid that doesn't really i don't really think that works as an argument because before i mean this just three months ago when mali technically had control. over the whole area you would still be able to have criminal and terrorist groups operating let's remember this is a. desert the size of france and it's got something like twenty one and a half million people or so. ready they're already going to be zones that have come outside of the state control and so the ability for. terrorist groups and all the rest to operate in it has always been there and i actually think it's interesting that the terrorist threat has emanated from mali in the last five years and the grand scheme of things hasn't been that large and i don't think that that's about to intensify to any great degree ok peter i'm going to be allowed to program the last word on this program what your prognosis was for the next six months what makes you look at it look like. well i agree with james i think we're going to move
slowly perhaps too slowly but we're going to eventually going to move to some sort of negotiated solution. would have to step aside i'm not sure that the deposed president will raise necessarily going to be restored but some sort of transitional government elections and then greater engagement both on the part of the sub regional body ecowas and the international community to shore up government first in the south of mali and then eventually a move to the north hopefully create the conditions for a negotiated settlement with the toerag and then with any problematic actors who are beyond the pale of the north you know there are other ways of dealing with can't he make a real sounds very simple thank you very much gentlemen many thanks my guest today in washington and in london and thanks to our viewers for watching us here you see you next time remember across not.
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