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Brotherhood and Salafists lock horns

January 26, 2013 - 2:49:06 am


Khalid Al Sayed



The crisis gripping Mali is nothing but the result of a struggle for political influence between France and the US. France is doing its best to maintain domination over a region which is rich in oil, gas, and uranium. 

France is Mali’s former colonial ruler. Many big French companies prosper on the African West coast. 

French nuclear facilities get most of their uranium supplies from neighbouring Niger. Therefore, France desperately needs to secure these supplies. 

As for the United States, it is seeking influence in the region to establish its military mission in Africa, AFRICOM, which it has been planning since 2007. 

Islamist militants have taken hold of northern Mali, and have threatened to attack the country’s capital Bamako in the south. Such a threat has raised French concerns that it may lead the United States to interfere in this rich region under the pretext of combating terrorism. In a surprise move, France sent troops to take control of northern Mali. The attack was planned to be carried out in collaboration with the Economic Community of West African States in the coming months.

Earlier, UN special representative for the Sahel, Romano Prodi, said military action in northern Mali would be possible only in September. 

There is a distinct correlation between the Arab Spring and political unrest in Mali. The Salafist guerrillas, armed by Libya, have already seized northern Mali. However, the political shots in the African state are being called by Americans from behind.

The US plan aims at curbing the political influence of Salafists in the Arab Spring countries by enabling the Muslim Brotherhood to dominate the whole region. 

Perhaps the United Sates is taking advantage of Mali’s turmoil to influence the situation in Arab Spring countries in a way that would best serve its interests in future. 

Some Salafist organizations in Egypt, like the Salafi Jihadi and Al Nour Party, have called on President Mohamed Morsi to interfere in Mali and stop the French aggression on Islamists “lest the West African country should suffer the same fate of Iraq” as they put it. They even demonstrated outside the French embassy in Cairo this week against the aggression. 

The region may soon be torn by a conflict between Salafists and the Muslim Brotherhood. The US will use the situation in Mali to support the Muslim Brotherhood in Arab countries, especially Egypt, to win the game.

The Muslim Brotherhood’s US-sponsored victory is a reflection of the need to boost moderate Islam and to combat terrorism.