Martin Scorsese - Jean-Yves le Drain - Alice Morrison, Morocco to Timbuktu: An Arabian Adventure TV - Secret Wars Uncovered TV -
This is a land of kings. The country may be poor but the culture is rich ... Music and history are intertwined. Martin Scorsese, The Blues, PBS 2003
They took Diabaly after fierce fighting and resistance from the Malian army that was not able to hold them off at that moment. About five [rebel] vehicles entered the town. Now they’re stationed about 200m (650ft) from the military camp but they haven’t taken the camp. They’ve killed a few soldiers. Jean-Yves le Drain, French defence minister, re Mali Islamists, cited BBC News 14th January 2013
The Sahara Desert, Mali, home to one of the Earth’s most mysterious and legendary places. Africa’s fabled city of gold – Timbuktu. Alice Morrison, Morocco to Timbuktu: An Arabian Adventure I, BBC 2017
The Sahara – the deadliest of deserts. It spans 11 countries, a vast area of more than 3 million square miles. It can reach staggering temperatures of 50 degrees plus. Alice Morrison, Morocco to Timbuktu: An Arabian Adventure II
For the traders of old it was a 50-day journey across the seemingly endless sands of the Sahara all the way to Timbuktu. ibid.
To this day slavery has never been officially abolished in Morocco. ibid.
20th November 2015 Bamaco, Mali: terrified hotel guests run for their lives as gunmen race through a luxury hotel in Bamaco, the capital of Mali. An Islamist group linked to al Qaeda claim responsibility. This terror attack focuses the world’s attention on the secret war unfolding in the Sahara desert. Mali went from being one of Africa’s most successful democracies to a failed state. Secret Wars Uncovered s1e8: Mali, History 2020
This [UN] peacekeeping mission became the deadliest campaign in the history of the United Nations. ibid.
Why are world leaders so eager to send secret special forces to fight in the Sahara? ibid.
International aid designed to help Mali grow into a democratic nation was diverted into the pockets of local politicians. ibid.
US special forces started operating in Mali for the first time. ibid.
The army rebelled against President Touré. And in March 2012 he was deposed. But what proved popular in Bamoko was not met with support globally. ibid.
It appeared the Islamists would take over the whole country … French commandos landed in Bamaco … In a matter of weeks northern Mali was back under French control … In 2013 the United Nations agreed to take over responsibility of securing the north of Mali. France started to withdraw some troops … UN troops were dying in the desert: a fight that would fester away from the world’s scrutiny. ibid.
Chronically underfunded, world leaders were slow to deliver on their promise to deliver troops on the ground. ibid.
Terror networks such as ISA, chased out of Syria and Iraq, find a fertile recruiting ground in northern Mali. ibid.