There is a region in West Africa known as Casamance. It covers parts of three nations: Guniea-Bissau, Senegal and Gambia.
Back in the late '90s Senegal and the Guniea-Bissau fought a war over Casamance. The war was inconclusive by the end of
2000. But Earlier this year in a move announced as a Counter Terrorism Operation the Army of Guniea-Bissau drove the Main
Casamance Rebel Force out of the Country and into Senegal.
The rapid victory also caused a small troop movement in the Gambia itself. Now there is also rising instability in that
small country itself. Recently two members of the Amnesty International Africa team were detained there after a teaching a
seminar to assist the Media.
Senegal is a close ally of both the United States and France. As a matter of fact Senegal was on the short list to host
the Forward Deployment Base for the Command. Another country on the shortlist is Liberia.
the Casamance region is a flashpoint. Seven Members of the Casamance Resistance face Terrorism Charges in Gambia as we
speak. Negotiations continue with the Senegalese Government. We all should pay close attention to this situation as it unfolds.
Above you see Senegal which could be a future Flash point.
There is another potential problem but unlike one with geographical borders this one doesn't. This problem involves a tribe
of people that are nomads.
The Tauregs are a nomadic people. Their natural homestead encompasses Niger, Mali, Libya and Algeria. However the French
drew boundaries that did this tribe no favors. When these states became Independent in the Early 1960s the Tauregs did not
have a homeland per se.
There were several attempts to create a rebellion including one by Libya in the 1980s but those attempts fizzled out.
In the 90s there were several attempts to broker a Peace Accord after several elections and coups. Small accords were reached
and there were some efforts to absorb some rebel forces but to this date tensions still simmer.
The Tauregs have highlighted their plight with Music. Its a great way to keep the culture going and to maintain contact
with other members. But they are also using the sword as well. Recent reports have indicated that they have ambushed troops
from Niger killing a Dozen, Recently they have been causing problems in Mali and are threating a French owned Mine in the
America is spending a considerable sum of money in Fighting Radical Islam in the region. A Pentagon report found that
at one point 25% of the Insurgents that were captured were from Western Africa.
In the weeks before the command was launched Nigerian Officials worked to prevent the forward base from being located
in the region. US Forces in the Region could be seen as a counterweight to Nigerian Motives and/or plans. And vice versa as
US Warships could be on station there for some time. One of the objectives of AFRICOM is the protection of Energy Assets.
That in itself can be read many different ways. This is just one part of the Continent. It makes you wonder what the objectives
are for the rest of the place.
Another piece by the editor Scott A Morgan