Suspected Islamist militants attacked a hotel in central Mali used by United Nations staff today, killing at least five people and exchanging fire with troops encircling the building, residents and military sources said.
The attackers reportedly kidnapped three Russian pilots, but this was denied by the TASS press agency.
— AJE News (@AJENews) August 7, 2015
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) August 7, 2015
AFRICOM Plans Intervention in Mali and West Africa
The attack follows a call in February by US Africa Command (AFRICOM) head General David Rodriguez for a large “counterinsurgency” effort against jihadi groups in West Africa.
He said AFRICOM is preparing for a “huge international and multinational” response to Boko Haram, a terror group based in northeast Nigeria, the most populated country with the largest economy in Africa.
In January Atheling P Reginald Mavengira highlighted a Wikileaks report stating the CIA has worked behind the scenes to covertly support Boko Haram and has taken “advantage of growing sectarian violence in Nigeria, recruited jobless Islamic extremist through Muslim and other traditional leaders offering training indirectly to the group by use of foreign based terror groups.”
Rodriguez made the remark about the expanded role of AFRICOM at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a think tank in Washington funded in large part by the United Arab Emirates and the Scaife Foundation, the latter known for its support for neocon organizations, including the American Enterprise Institute, the Hoover Institution and the American Foreign Policy Council.
“Rodriguez’s statements are part of a coordinated campaign by the US to massively expand its military operations in the resource-rich region, as it combats the influence of China and other powers,” writes Thomas Gaist.
Mali has abundant natural resources, including gold, uranium, diamonds, manganese, bauxite and many precious stones. In addition, Mali has increased its promotion and research of oil exploration, production and export.
In February China and Mali signed a number of agreements after the IMF and World Bank suspended financing.