“Jasmine Revolution”
Symbol of peace: Flowers placed on the barrel of a tank
in very much calmer protests than in recent days in Tunisia

'The Protester' - Time Person of the Year 2011

'The Protester' - Time Person of the Year 2011
Mannoubia Bouazizi, the mother of Tunisian street vendor Mohammed Bouazizi. "Mohammed suffered a lot. He worked hard. but when he set fire to himself, it wasn’t about his scales being confiscated. It was about his dignity." (Peter Hapak for TIME)

1 - TUNISIA Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)

How eyepatches became a symbol of Egypt's revolution - Graffiti depicting a high ranking army officer with an eye patch Photograph: Nasser Nasser/ASSOCIATED PRESS

2 - EGYPT Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)

''17 February Revolution"

3 - LIBYA Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)

5 - SYRIA Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)

"25 January Youth Revolution"
Muslim and Christian shoulder-to-shoulder in Tahrir Square
"A Summary" – Apr 2, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Religion, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Intelligent/Benevolent Design, EU, South America, 5 Currencies, Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Middle East, Internet, Israel, Dictators, Palestine, US, Japan (Quake/Tsunami Disasters , People, Society ...), Nuclear Power Revealed, Hydro Power, Geothermal Power, Moon, Financial Institutes (Recession, Realign integrity values ..) , China, North Korea, Global Unity,..... etc.) -
(Subjects: Egypt Uprising, Iran/Persia Uprising, Peace in Middle East without Israel actively involved, Muhammad, "Conceptual" Youth Revolution, "Conceptual" (without a manager hierarchy) managed Businesses, Internet, Social Media, News Media, Google, Bankers, Global Unity,..... etc.)
"The End of History" – Nov 20, 2010 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll)
(Subjects:Abraham, Isaac, Ishmael, Muhammad, Jesus, God, Jews, Arabs, EU, US, Israel, Iran, Russia, Africa, South America, Global Unity,..... etc.) (Text version)

"If an Arab and a Jew can look at one another and see the Akashic lineage and see the one family, there is hope. If they can see that their differences no longer require that they kill one another, then there is a beginning of a change in history. And that's what is happening now. All of humanity, no matter what the spiritual belief, has been guilty of falling into the historic trap of separating instead of unifying. Now it's starting to change. There's a shift happening."

“ … Here is another one. A change in what Human nature will allow for government. "Careful, Kryon, don't talk about politics. You'll get in trouble." I won't get in trouble. I'm going to tell you to watch for leadership that cares about you. "You mean politics is going to change?" It already has. It's beginning. Watch for it. You're going to see a total phase-out of old energy dictatorships eventually. The potential is that you're going to see that before 2013.

They're going to fall over, you know, because the energy of the population will not sustain an old energy leader ..."

African Union (AU)

African Union (AU)
African Heads of State pose for a group photo ahead of the start of the 28th African Union summit in Addis Ababa on January 30, 2017 (AFP Photo/ Zacharias ABUBEKER)

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela
Few words can describe Nelson Mandela, so we let him speak for himself. Happy birthday, Madiba.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Mali coup leaves ex-colonial power France in a bind

France24 – AFP, 19 August 2020

The Mali soldiers leading the coup insist that peace is their priority and have
promised to stage elections within a "reasonable" timeframe ANNIE RISEMBERG AFP

Paris (AFP) - Mali's military coup presents former colonial power France with a diplomatic nightmare, having invested considerable military and political capital in a regional anti-jihadist campaign now in peril.

Tuesday's post-coup resignation of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita following weeks of civil protest against his perceived corrupt and inept rule, has robbed Paris of a key ally in the Sahel where France has -- sometimes unpopularly -- been routing jihadists since 2013.

The military campaign, spearheaded by France's 5,000-plus Barkhane force in Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Mauritania and Chad, seeks in the end to bring stability to the conflict- and poverty-ridden region, allowing governments to strengthen institutions and focus on much-needed development.

But now, France faces having to work with a regime born out of Tuesday's coup d'etat against Keita, often referred to as IBK.

"The challenge will be for France to walk a delicate line. It has to condemn the coup. It also has to work with the new leaders," said Michael Shurkin of the California-based RAND Corporation policy think-tank.

"It (France) needs a good outcome, but it has to be extremely careful about influencing the outcome," he told AFP.

Paris issued a condemnation after initial reports of an army mutiny in Mali, but has yet to explicitly denounce the toppling of Keita claimed by coup leaders.

On Wednesday, the French presidency said, "We must deal with the reality of a complicated political situation that has lasted for months...

"We must focus on the return of civilian power and rule of law, with another priority: not to lose the commitment to the fight against terrorism."

Initially expected to last a few weeks, the French Sahel military intervention has been running for seven years at a cost of some $1 billion annually, according to the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.

The force has chalked up some wins, but jihadists have continued deadly attacks and 44 French troops have lost their lives in what some have called "France's forever war".

The presence of French boots on the ground has become increasingly unpopular and thousands have protested in Mali and Burkina Faso against what they term "forces of occupation".

Shrugging off the pleas of the international community, Malian soldiers on Tuesday detained the president, prime minister, cabinet ministers and other government officials.

Better to come?

The leaders of the coup condemned by the EU, UN, African Union and regional grouping ECOWAS, insisted that "peace in Mali is our priority" and promised to stage elections within a "reasonable time".

"The junta... does not want to alienate the support of the international community, including Barkhane," tweeted Yvan Guichaoua, a researcher at the University of Kent's Brussels School of International Studies.

"The objective seemingly was mainly to eject IBK and his allies from power."

France itself has been doubtful about Keita's ability to improve security and governance in Mali, say analysts.

And Shurkin believes the coup "could theoretically work out for the best if it yields a government that functions better and that can lay claim to greater legitimacy.

"It has to be acknowledged that things weren’t going well before the coup; Mali under IBK was making little if any progress, which meant that the success of French strategy was questionable anyway," he said.

In the short term, however, French diplomats and military leaders face an uphill battle.

"In a way, it's back to square one," said Jean-Herve Jezequel, Sahel specialist at the International Crisis Group in Brussels.

"Eight years of effort, investment, presence to basically return to the situation of Mali at the time of the 2012 coup, with a confused situation in Bamako, more violent armed insurrections and increased inter-communal violence."

Change in approach

Military historian Michel Goya predicted a political imbroglio that will last for months.

"For the French military, this makes things more complicated. Operations can continue, they can be run independently, but cooperation with the Malian forces will likely be stopped. And armed groups may try to take advantage of the situation to expand their action," he said.

France is also likely to see new reticence from European partners it had been trying to convince to enlarge military operations in Sahel, notably a European special forces group dubbed Takuba and the so-called G5 Sahel, an under-resourced force of regional soldiers.

There will be "a slowdown of major projects while we wait for the dust to settle and are focused on the nature of the new power to be installed in Bamako," said Elie Tenenbaum, a researcher at the French Institute for International Relations.

For Shurkin, an extended transition period, or one that yields more of the same, "would be terrible for France and Mali alike".

"Maybe, just maybe, there will be a relatively quick transition that yields a stronger Mali, one that will meet the requirements of French strategy," he added.

For Jezequel, this was also a chance for France, the Sahel states and other partners to question their approach to providing security aid to the region.

"We cannot sustainably secure a space without changing the forms of governance that manage it," he said.

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