Mauritanian Consensus Against French Intervention in Mali
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.
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By Ron Jacobs | CounterPunch | December 2, 2016
The movement against South African apartheid was perhaps the most universal and popular movement in the western world in the 1980s. Hundreds of thousands protested in a multitude of ways—from letter-writing campaigns to shantytown occupations of city squares and college campus greens. Institutions of all types, from churches to universities, from corporations and banks to city halls, were forced to remove their investments from companies doing business with the racist South African regime, ultimately forcing that regime to end its racist legal system. Even the right wing Reagan and Thatcher regimes were ultimately forced to end their support for Pretoria’s racist system and grudgingly go along with the popular will.
However, as Ron Nixon’s new book, titled Selling Apartheid, makes clear, the South African regime was not going to go down without a fight. In addition to police and military actions of varying brutality, the regime hired advertising men to sell their brand of repression to people and governments around the world. The campaign he describes involved a cynical manipulation of emotions about race, implied white supremacist chauvinism, and outright lies. Advertising campaigns presented South Africa as a tourist destination full of beauty and the perfect climate (which it had) with absolutely no mention of the racial discrimination built into its social and political systems. Glossy photo spreads were bought in newspaper and magazines and television programs were made and sold to television networks in the United States and Britain. These shows were then shown to the unsuspecting viewer as if they were made by agencies independent of the apartheid government and their only agenda was tourism. … continue
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