Monday, January 21, 2013

MALI: unknown African troops

2000 African soldiers of the International Mission of Support in Mali (Misma) must be made by January 26 to support the French troops. But will they be operational?

Applauded by many Africans and especially Mali, the French intervention in the Sahel reassuring. After the sky, it's time to see the ground intensify the fighting: tanks seek to counter Islamist infiltration. All this awakens the critical consciousness of the citizen, now convinced of the sad reality that African countries are not governed and their armies are an empty shell!

Difficult to oppose this assertion when facing the enemy, the elements of national armies flee. The military offensive following the crisis Mali learned a lot. Certainly, the lead responsibility France, which has the means. But, it is also recognized that it was able to take the lead. Why wait alertness and determination of the French President, Fran├žois Hollande, to finally feel the relief on the emergence of African peoples once and today reassured anxious? The slow mobilization of African troops seriously contrast with the speed in decision-making and mobilization of French troops.

Belly pout intervention

The number of increasingly high French soldiers mobilized in rapid progression of actions and elements in the field contrasts with the inertia that characterizes the African. Too long staffs West Africa remained silent or apathetic. Despite encounters recorded throughout the year, we feel the unpreparedness much hesitation and a clear lack of willingness to go on the field. The lack of resources can not justify everything!

This concern, especially since sooner or later, it will take over from foreign troops friends. In the coming days, it will be difficult staffs concerned to convince African opinions they have not failed. To persuade them they have really operational troops, able to effectively pieces Islamic groups and gangs of drug traffickers that the French have flushed. With the many crises in recent years on the continent, yet it is assumed that, for the most part, African national armies reflect other state institutions: budget-, infiltrated mafia clans and religious gangrene by profiteering, cronyism and corruption in various forms.

State within a state, the African army is expensive, and it is virtually impossible to exercise any control over its management. It has generally been African armies to be strong in the organization of coups, repression of the population, or robbery when they are entrusted with the management of public goods.

Critical military

The army of today have yet much to gain by being open to criticism. For being walled and have forced ordinary citizens to fear if the leak, it is now faced with a dilemma: continue during the neocolonial army whose interests are diametrically opposed to those cruelly the people it is supposed to serve, or dare to truly transform a craft effective, efficient and profitable. A modern army and model accepts criticism is self-criticism one way or another, plays the game of transparency and comply with the requirements of a democratic nation based on republican institutions actually.

Still, the audacity and the serenity with which the jihadists have set up their household gods in northern Mali, show that they have never been afraid of African armies. The terrorists know that many of these armies lack benchmarks, respectable and respected leaders, but are filled with offenders recruited no one knows how and why? Armies that are mired in bureaucracy, have forged ties of complicity with a corrupt civilian elite, which has plagued the state apparatus. With staffs riddled with businessmen, base, long abandoned to itself, can only turn back to its target. Who has not learned to identify the enemy and to adjust, will always be hard to fight. Should also venture to the face, because the dreaded words?

We must learn from the situation and seek to remedy as soon as the Africa of yesterday and before yesterday had fighters proud to wear the uniform and the flag. Although, after independence, most African armies were soon specialized in insurrections and coups.

The name of the clan or belonging to a region, a political group, ideological or religious, the necessary defense of the territorial integrity and protection of populations are faded into the background. In all likelihood, there was no transition between generations of soldiers. The Malian army whose capacities have been strengthened in recent years by American power, was bitterly disappointed by his refusal to fight! Some elements among its Tuareg have even changed sides with arms and baggage. What irritate partners!

Reflections of divisions

So bitter: the construction of a true republican army, based on the defense of the motherland, and safeguarding democratic institutions is far from over in Africa. When the danger comes upon us, we really feel a great emptiness. How much needed, what is expected, on behalf of the pan-African ideal for composing sub-regional real armies, depending exclusively on the African Union, with regional branches? At least Will is a step in the right direction.

In developed countries, the army is the basis of technological progress. In Africa, it is barely visible in the site development. Much in the way of intrigue. In this regard, the conduct of certain national armies is pathetic. Humiliation they suffer or inflict on a daily basis should reflect more national authorities at all levels, civil or military. Africans can and should recover. We must rehabilitate the army!

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