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tv   [untitled]    April 6, 2012 3:30pm-4:00pm EDT

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culture is that so much of an elderly huge musician appearing on the market only in america in the wake of the recent military coup there are growing fears of his african state plunging to push back to civil strife. fell over the top stories for r.t. in russia at a level two thirty pm moscow time moscow denouncing victor boot sentencing in the united states is politically motivated as the russian businessman gets twenty five years behind bars who was convicted of conspiring to sell weapons to terrorists and kill american. support of ongoing violence in syria tonight despite a u.n. ultimatum that both sides must reach a complete six by next week president assad says he's already withdrawing troops from certain areas. and french muslims claim they're being scapegoated in the wake
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of the deadly shootings into lose they say but bearing the brunt now of a heavy crackdown on stream is a man head of the presidential election i just said was posed a problem much more from us online twenty four seven r.t. dot com here with instability engulfing mali right now people of our says gas next what's in store for the embattled african nation pick the team here just a few moments ahead. filmmaker. and. the. director's call to close real life in prison on charges. in the. k.k.k. the story. below
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and welcome to cross talk i'm curious about mali in a mess in the wake of the recent military coup there are growing fears that this 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 but is it state security or democracy for knight. can. still. cross about 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 pressed hard gentlemen this is cross talk you can jump in anytime you want and i very much encourage it peter from 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
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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 i don't understand the fact 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 it 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 saheli region and we're going to be dealing with these outflows from libya in the next year or two several years all across the southern region ok if i can stay with you
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could this have been predicted should if 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 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 hosted 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 engulfed in his country already and he saw this very clearly several months ago ok chance what do you think about that narrative because you can say also a lot of people say this coup was in the making for a very very long time and we've had these kind of disturbances for decades since independence. i don't think that the pricing has too much directly to do
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with a look at the actually. helps for the particular timing and the intensity of this about in this event it was planned for. before the uprising when garcia before nato intervention in. the political arm of the m. and a was formed in october two thousand and ten long before the uprising in benghazi timbuktu the military plans had been laid 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 time with about it and possibly got it more arms but i don't think that this is the direct consequence i think that narrative is that how from ok peter what do you think about that in washington it's an epiphenomenon i think not a direct result. certainly the the the the tensions in the north the grievances
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legitimate or not one can debate of the torah those are going problems but certainly there was a new amp it's a sport with outflow fires that's why the m.l.o. u.s. military commander. is was a for a colonel in the libyan army maybe he would have been sent anyway but the fact is he had the fighters that form the the tip of the spear here in the simulator and it's a military go ahead james jump and he did that he defected from the libyan military . hunger what he was doing in having been cased out by. government allied militia from from mali in two thousand and i was trying to encourage. members of the gadhafi military to come back to join them in a way and to bring with them. because which they. which they did and it's interesting to see that it was long before they actually fell ok after the benghazi
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uprising but before gadhafi fell and also importantly before the. senior commander started to leave people with his taking with arms and guns. 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 it 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 fall of gadhafi as i said some of it's not the prime driver. behind it was already
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building up weaponry and got weaponry from elsewhere as well as libya before the fall of gadhafi. coincidental in terms of timing and then it is helped intensify it and speed up operations but this rebellion was going to take place at some point and at some point reasonably soon anyway with or without the fall of peter what about the legitimacy of protecting the state sovereignty ok i mean the justification we can talk about 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 a where a long time now i mean what are the justifications there i mean if security versus democracy versus constitutional order etc etc again it's not black and white. you know it's not like why although i would say this much about the actual one to the
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took power the justification is there advancing now are just occasions which have a reason behind them and certainly a certain cretin's but they're invented ex post facto and the fact is the coup that occurred on the night between the twenty first and twenty second march was for all intents and purposes an accidental coup it 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 i'll hold a little suspect the timing now as for the government that was overthrown all right sooner or later as you just said the timing and i think you're getting at the coming election that's going to happen right there again we have the hunted saying they're going to have they want to democratic order because we have elections just around the corner i mean could if they waited
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a couple of weeks well 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 preplanned at all to begin with but that being said now they've got it and now they have and they and the and 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 with meat as a narrative but i think it was something that went to roy and it happened in terms of going back to your previous question about the merits of security versus democracy and so on. this here in r d r e. has been
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remarkably unsuccessful securing. the territorial integrity of mali which is what they went for which is which was the original reason for their justification for that and you can you can see this because they can negotiate with the m.l.a. now he. saw a negotiation in the past as a way in which he can see war in the north and uprisings in north as part of been part of a long ago c.-h. and which had been taking place sort of fifty years between. governments and accept this. so it is an accidental situation but they. 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 negotiating table and make some forms of concessions peter if you look at the rebels are been remarkably
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successful why would you want to negotiate you've got wind of it right now it's exceeded where they would be beyond their wildest imaginations or. your few months ago. no certainly there are no good position and as the confusion continues with the junta flailing away in bomber co they're only going to consolidate their hold on 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 in the north of especially among the torah but other peoples in the north as well that they have to be met in some way shape or form what is preoccupying is the presence of the islamist forces that i want to get to that point in the next
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time i want to go to that next point in the next part of the james real quick before we go to the break how they are the claims for independence for the rebels right now how legitimate. definitely. i'm not so far saying that paid necessarily have been a cause for independence but they certainly have grievances that have not be met the concessions to be made to them in the previous peace accords just a few years ago and again in the early ninety's were not entirely mad and they do have legitimate grievances and it is clear that some form of increased or ptolemy and integration of. international life. 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 stay.
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live. live. real live. the speech. if you. are lucky we're. lucky. lucky sleep good luck. plays. the money look at the. bottom
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a little. there hasn't been anything to get on t.v. . it is to get the maximum political impact. the full source material is what helps keep journalism honest we. we want to present. something alex. slump and if you. listen to it you can. live. welcome back across time to belcher much more talking about mali as
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a potential failed state. live. and he just started listening. ok if you're going to figure back to our guest in washington puter. 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 title 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 it but they're 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 parameter of structure when 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
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a hardline element as well so it's a very diffuse entity 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 kid ah we see in timbuktu we see it in gaol where this group of islands are d.n.a. led by this long connected character gali is clearly asserting itself well i think there will 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 change what you stand on that because a you know when you through when they all qaeda element and then it becomes a much broader picture story it's not you know poor little molly struggling here
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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 said but i i disagree with what he just said about the i agree that there is going to be a struggle between them and i lay an answer in which there always was going to be with godless of whether there is an islamic take in which the answer would be in the secular nationalist ten wish to the m.l.a. let's not forget the believed of being the garley was the leader of the troll reg 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 nationalists that he betrayed the cause and was too close 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.
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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. haven't so he set up his his own group and his own group has a more islamic tinge it's also less radical in terms of amounts for independence and statements coming out from commanders suggest that yes once basic. non-so secure the northern the northern territory there will be some sort of struggle between the two that has been the endless pattern in target risings 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 appears that the m.
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and a have left the answer to garrison the towns was taken strategic positions against invasion or. to attack from forces i think it's quite. true to say that. certain cells as and that's all ok peter it's very interesting because he the mollies 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 as were most officers of his grade or above in mali but certainly i think the partnership that the u.s. has had with mali for over a decade on counterterrorism 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
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demential they were good at hunting terrorists but they clearly were pretty well prepared to fight a counterinsurgency and so i think that strategy well peters it is a little more your version of really preemptively on the point. where you think it's a very interesting time j.j. 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 who 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 look at the going to wiki leaks cables from two thousand and six two thousand and ten from mali which came out and you can see from those two very interesting things one is that the military. wasn't very good at all and also didn't really gauge very often
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attacks on different elements of. the macweb one and two all the attempts to target the m. and a with connection to it was more the m.l.a. or it was pretty decisive koreans. who died in august last year who were actually fighting against a.q.i.m. elements and it's the one thing that be. consistently said is that once they have taken as to what they were true either. 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 if we have to all 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 put in the region has to think in africa itself and then there's the outside players like the united states and nato when we
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look at what happened in libya is this going to be another mission creep are they just going to sit there and watch and see what happens because we have this really hemorrhaging for issue from libya going into mali that's fueling this. right i think several points one is we are going to iraq for now both the united states and europe have law 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 agree with with james there are other in person we have to recognize not just the u.s. and europe interest but the neighboring countries have their own interests and their own spins of 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
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today general carter ham the commander of the u.s. africa command is in algeria meeting with the algerian president and his top advisors 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 want to martina or uneasy air much less if they went if 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 what it would be very well here to hear what peter said in washington you know there's going to be punishment of the hunter to do certain things or not do certain things but it is certain point you don't want to see defeat collapse go ahead. i don't think we are going to see. currently common sanctions that are being placed by coup us will have will have an effect and we're seeing that playing out now negotiations between sanogo is trying
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to play for time trying to work out his exit strategy and i don't think that we're going to see state collapse and so on it may take it may take a week it may take a month to meet a six months me maybe take a year but there will be an end to the military junta return to some kind of constitutional government at some point elections and that really is the necessary precursor from the perspective of self amal if it wants to try to retake the north because it's going to require the last systems to do so and just not going to help them is going to change if i can stay with you james is that the worry is of course is that this area but the rebels have control of in whatever affiliation they have with al qaeda and other groups people worry detaches going to turn into another afghanistan before nine eleven it's just going to turn into a haven for terrorists and drug dealers in crime i mean how long can you wait how long can you just watch them for i'm afraid that doesn't really i don't really
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think that works as an argument because before i mean just just three months ago when mali technically have control. over the whole area you would still be able to have criminal and terrorist groups operating let's remember this is a there's a. desert the size of france and it's got something like only one and a half million people there so. it's already going there are already going to be zones that have become outside of the state control and so the ability for. terrorist groups and all the rest to operate in it has always been and i actually think it's interesting that the terrorist threat that 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 your last program my last word on this program what your prognosis was for the next six months what next year will it look like. well i agree with james i think we're
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going to move slowly out of perhaps too slowly but we're going to eventually going to move to some sort of negotiated solution the one to 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 move through 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 make a real sounds very simple thank you very much gentlemen many thanks to my guest today in washington and in london and thanks to our viewers for watching us here see you next time remember crosstalk.
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