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US Secretly Training and Funding ‘Elite’ African Commandos

By  Sarah Lazare | Common Dreams | May 27, 2014

The Pentagon has been secretly backing a U.S. Special Operations program to build elite units to fight “terrorism” in Libya, Niger, Mauritania and Mali, the New York Times revealed Monday.

The program was launched last year and is backed by millions of dollars in classified Pentagon funds. U.S. military trainers, including members of the Green Berets and Delta Force, are working with African “commandos” to “build homegrown African counterterrorism teams,” according to the Times.

According to the reporting, $70 million in Pentagon funds is going towards “training, intelligence-gathering equipment and other support” for commandos in Nigeria and Mauritania. And $16 million is going towards commandos in Libya. In Mauritnaia, $29 million has been allotted for “logistics and surveillance equipment in support of the specialized unit.” According to the Times, the program in Mali “has yet to get off the ground as a new civilian government recovers from a military coup last year.”

The U.S. military has for years been increasing its role across the continent of Africa, including the expansion of AFRICOM, drone attacks in Somalia, air strikes and arms shipments to Libya, and more.

May 28, 2014 Posted by | Militarism | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mauritanian Consensus Against French Intervention in Mali

By Al-Mokhtar Ould Mohammad | Al Akhbar | January 18, 2013

Nouakchott – In light of widespread discontent among Mauritanians over the French military intervention in neighboring Mali, the French embassy is taking strict security measures to protect its citizens living in Mauritania.

There is a wide consensus among Mauritanians, regardless of political leanings, against French involvement in Mali, which many view as a return to colonialism.

This sentiment found expression in a fatwa, or religious edict, issued by 39 clerics and imams forbidding the Mauritanian government and people from cooperating with the invading countries.

The fatwa said that France’s real objective is to occupy northern Mali and that the intervention is “the continuation of an ongoing colonial campaign that has targeted many Muslim countries, from Palestine to Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan, and Somalia.”

Most of the country’s political parties agree with the clergy’s position, including the ruling Republican Party for Democracy and Renewal.

One of its leading members, Mohammad Ould Mham, denounced the French war, saying that it would have been better for Paris “to gather all the Malian parties around the negotiating table – only dialogue can avert a war in Mali and the region.”

Opposition party leaders such as Ahmed Ould Daddah also rejected French intervention in Mali, warning that Mauritanian participation in the war will have dangerous consequences for the country’s military. He added that Mali and Mauritania have historical and religious ties, as well as common interests which “the government has frittered away.”

Leftist opposition leader Mohammad Ould Mawloud also rejected the war against Mali, expressing concern that “Mauritania will be exposed to danger, particularly the eastern and southern provinces.”

The Mauritanian Party of Union and Change claimed that it was French colonialism that created the problem in northern Mali in the first place and now it has returned to ignite a war, the consequences of which no one can predict.

Two socialist-leaning opposition parties singled out France’s ruling Socialist Party for criticism, accusing it of being under the influence of Zionism.

In a joint statement, the parties pointed out French President François Hollande’s contradictory policies of supporting radical Islamist groups in Syria – not to mention allying Paris with the reactionary Islamist regimes of the Gulf – while at the same time waging war against them in Mali.

January 18, 2013 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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