Question: In recent days, many spoke of military intervention in Northern Mali, and yesterday, Sunday 11/11/2012, leaders of the Economic Community of West Africa (ECOWAS) met to discuss the restoration of Northern Mali within the State of Mali. Their decision was vague and indecisive. They decided to send 3,300 troops to Mali, but at the same time they declared not to close the door to a political settlement, leaving the door open for dialogue. This was after UN Security Council Resolution 2071 on 10/15/2012, which gave a 45-day deadline to this group. And over this and that, the stances of the major colonialist influences in Africa were different. The most urgent stance for military intervention is taken by France, and to a lesser degree America, whilst Britain displayed a lack of interest. But, what is striking is that Algeria is the hub in this matter, the officials’ visits of these countries were frequent to Algeria, and a delegation came just as another left, though Algeria still opposed the military intervention.
The question is why did Algeria become the station of competition between these countries in terms of communication with it, particularly from the United States and France? Why did the voice of Britain seem dim? What are the stances of these countries and their purpose from contact with Algeria?
Answer: In order, to clarify the answer we must first review two important issues:
First: The Political Reality of Algeria
Second: Mali Coup
I. The Political Reality of Algeria:
It is well known that President Bouteflika, who was the Foreign Minister at the time of Houari Boumedienne followed the approach of Boumediene, whom had links with the British, and then he came to power through a military coup. He led it in 1965 against Ahmed Ben Bella, who was loyal to America, the rule continued in the hands of Englishmen agents until France’s agents undertook a military coup in 1992, so as to prevent the arrival of the Islamic Salvation Front to power, after it had succeeded in the elections. Then they forced Chadli Ben Jedid to resign. The army then became in control of the country, but it failed in establishing the order and the rule was weak, after they forced Chadli to resign in 1992. They brought Muhammad Boudiaf then he was killed. Afterwards, they brought Ali Kafi, whom they sidelined, handing over the power to the Defense Minister General Zeroual Amen. But they could not deal with the consequences of their coup and calm the situation in the country, after committing terrible massacres against the Muslim people of Algeria.
In 1999, they agreed for Abdelaziz Bouteflika to be president with a condition that he does not hold them accountable for their crimes, in destroying the country, and to work towards calmness by calling for harmony, peace, and reconciliation. Thus, he became president from 1999 until today, after the announcement of his victory in the 2004 election and then in the 2009 elections. Bouteflika still maintains a close relationship with Britain. He emphasized his loyalty by visiting Britain in 2006, the first visit from an Algerian president to Britain. Although, the French faction in the Algerian army, who are influential to some extent, realize the relationship of Bouteflika with Britain and realize that Bouteflika was not at peace with French politics and that he rejected the Mediterranean Union Project, which was a French initiative at the time of Sarkozy, and that the draft agreements discussed in 2008 during Sarkozy’s visit to Algeria, where he met Bouteflika, have not been implemented. Despite all of these realizations they are silent, because the leaders’ crime files of this faction who transgressed against the Muslim people of Algeria have not been closed. Bouteflika can explode this affair in their faces if they think about staging a coup against him. So they did not oppose his policy and in particular, as long he agrees with them with the protection of secularism and the republic which they sanctified.
Thus, the general political line of the Algerian president is with the British policy on the subject of Mali.
II. The Coup in Mali
The Coup in Mali occurred on 03/22/2012, and it was clear that America was behind it. America was working to find an influence in Mali. It started by contracting agreements with Mali to train Malian troops to combat terrorism and practice tactics for fighting rebel groups. It used to choose officers transporting them to America for training. Al-Aser website in 24/03/2012 narrated from U.S. sources that a U.S. diplomat who requested anonymity to the press said, “The coup leader Captain Omedua Ahmedou Haia Sanogo had been chosen from among the elite officers by the U.S. Embassy to receive military training to combat terrorism in the United States.” He added that “Sanjogo traveled several times to America on special missions …”
The purpose of the coup is to remove the influence of the French from Mali which was the main base of France replacing it with US influence.
We have already made this matter clear in detail in the answer to a question of 24/03/2012.
Now, after reviewing the two former matters we can answer the question as follows:
1. Britain’s low voice in the matter of military intervention was because the problem is primarily between the United States and France. America was behind the coup to rip France’s influence from the region … Therefore, Britain “as usual” wants the two sides to be busy with each other to weaken them and be the winner or at least not a loser!
With regard to its stand during the visit of its officials to Algeria about Mali: it was an evasive stand towards military intervention, but at the same time supporting of Algeria in non-military intervention! The British Ambassador in Algeria, Martin Roper, stated, “The UK stands by Algeria at this very critical stage” and “that Britain favors a peaceful solution if possible” (Khabar Newspaper 22/6/012). Alistair Burt, the British Minister for the Middle East and North Africa, visited Algeria on 23/6/012 and has studied the situation in Northern Mali and strengthened the relations with Algerian officials for three days. “He highly regards the Algerian stand by refusing the military intervention to end the insurgency problem in Northern Mali and he said that Britain supports resolving the conflict in the shore region through negotiations.” (The Algerian Peace of Today 24/6/012). Britain does not want Algeria’s Bouteflika involved in a military intervention in Northern Mali because it gives opportunities to America to influence Algeria as a prelude to extend its influence in this country, so that it will be at the expense of British influence in Algeria and North Africa.
The evasiveness in the British attitude was reflected by Algeria’s Bouteflika, this way Algeria’s remarks indicates that they do not want interference from any side. It wants a political solution on the other hand; but also says that it is against terrorism in Northern Mali! This means that Britain’s stand is vague. It also says that the intervention has adverse effects, especially on Mali Tuareg and it must be a political solution; but at the same time it says that a military solution is necessary against terrorism! As stated by the spokesman for the Algerian Foreign Ministry, Ammar Blaney, where he said, “We believe that the use of force must be for insight in order to avoid any confusion or ambiguity between the residents of Mali Tuareg who have legitimate demands and the terrorist groups and drug traffickers, which should be the first goal, because they are the source of danger that threatens the region.” (F.P. 30/10/012). They held the stick from the middle, in keeping with the British style; to keep the conflict between America and France, whilst at the same time staying away from the conflict. This is because Britain in its current track doesn’t clash openly with America, but rather starts to obstruct by other means, as is the case with Algeria. Although, Algeria stands firmly against the French in their discussions for Northern Mali, to the extent that it postponed the French president’s visit, but it showed inclination and response to the US pressure over her, so it could not postpone the visit of a US official, though it postponed the visit of the President of France! It seems that the Algerians postponed the visit of the President of France, Francois Hollande to satisfy America. It is taking a serious stand towards France, but it shows softness in her remarks towards America as evidence by the cordial actions.
1- As for France, it suffered severely from the impact of the coup in Mali, and the matter became decisive for it. Therefore, if it cannot take her influence back in Mali, then its influence in Africa will end gradually, so the French work hard for international military intervention to re-take Mali into her camp. It doesn’t want to keep America’s henchmen in power in the South of Mali, and the quasi-state in Northern Mali, which then will be difficult to extend her influence as before in the State of Mali.
This is why France is scrambling for military intervention in Northern Mali, because its influence in Mali has taken a big hit after the military coup there; which was done by junior officers loyal to America on 22/03/2012. This influence is to ramshackle the entire region, if France cannot solve the issue of Mali and Northern Mali. Therefore, we see her working in the Security Council, struggling to issue decisions on using military intervention and France is contacting the related countries in the region, particularly Algeria…
French stand through its contacts with Algeria is strongly urging military intervention. However, Algeria did not respond to it. It was quoted by the newspaper of El Khabar, from the French newspaper, Le Canar Oonche on 10/31/2012 that the “delay of the visit of the French President Hollande to Algeria, which was scheduled in the month of November to December was at the request of the Algerian President Bouteflika” and stated that ” France is sending signals of friendship to (Algeria), such as visit of Foreign Ministers, Laurent Fabius and Interior Minister, Manuel Valls and the recognition of the Elysee Palace, the recognition of the bloody nature in the events of October 17, 1961. It is quoted from Hollande advisers that he had hoped to persuade Bouteflika not to stay silent about the Islamist armed groups who control the North of Mali, yet, despite all this Algeria did not respond … Thus, the French central focus is the return of its influence to Mali as soon as possible and it sees that the road to that is through military intervention that occupies Northern Mali and then spreads to the south. It hopes to invest this “victory” so as to make its henchmen in Southern Mali moving as the front lines to France.
2- As for America, in spite of this, it wants to intervene to support its henchmen in the South of Mali, but it is not in a hurry to intervene. However, it wants to start from the problem of Mali to win Algeria to its influence, perhaps using it as a springboard in Africa against what it calls terrorism, just as Pakistan is a springboard in South Asia against the Taliban. Therefore, it doubled its movements in Algeria under the pretext of Mali, but the talks focused on the other issues!
This means that America’s interest now is to penetrate its influence to Algeria from which it can delve further into Africa. This is more important to America than the military intervention in northern Mali. Although. Such an intervention is within its policy, but it wants it as a way to spread influence to Algeria. At the same time it doesn’t want an influential role for France through the military intervention, should America decide seriously to approve it.
About the contacts of her officials with Algeria, it appears as if it is for Northern Mali, but the reality is to search for establishing links with Algeria. This can be seen clearly through reviewing her recent visits to Algeria. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited Algeria and met its President Abdelaziz Bouteflika on 10/29/2012. U.S. Secretary of State Clinton said at the end of the meeting with Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, “We discussed our very strong bilateral relations, and we have indicated that we had just finished an excellent strategic dialogue hosted by Washington last week. We had very deep talks on the situation in the region, especially in Mali.” (AFP, Reuters 30/10/2012).
So it mentioned the bilateral relations in Algeria and the strategic dialogue with it … It then mentioned the depth of talks about the region, especially Mali. America’s goal in the first place was Algeria before the situation in Mali. What emphasized this concern in Algeria in the first place is that Clinton left behind her assistant, Elizabeth Jones, to continue talks with officials, indicating that there are agendas that America was able to achieve during this visit leaving her assistant to complete the work. Algerian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Amar Blaney replied, “The talks between Foreign Minister Mourad Medelci and the Assistant to the Secretary of State Anne Elizabeth Jones allowed assessment results recorded in the framework of the first session of the strategic Algerian and American dialogue and deepened the consultations on a number of regional issues” (APS 1/11/012).
America does not want to give France a role in any intervention, if it decides to intervene in this region, and it does not want to help her in launching a military mission there, because originally it was designed to remove French influence in Mali and in the region. America is primarily interested in Algeria and expanding her influence in it; and it is using the issue of Northern Mali as a pretext to move into and in the region. It works to find ways to achieve this purpose, most notably, through the work of creating a strategic partnership with Algeria, as it worked with Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Turkey. Therefore, it is talking with Algeria aiming at forming this partnership, which is a way to find an influence in the country through security, military and economic co-operation.
3- Many of the Algerian people realize that their country is targeted by the U.S. El Khabar newspaper was quoted on 29/10/2012 that the big chief of Tuareg tribe in Tamanrasset, 2,000 km south of the capital, has voiced his rejection to the military intervention in the North saying that “it is a prelude to the establishment of military bases in the desert.” Also this newspaper quoted a statement from a parliament member, from the Ahaggar region, as saying: “What U.S. and France are demanding from foreign intervention will create a lot of problems and we as representatives of the Ahaggar region are asking Algeria to be steadfast in its stand against the foreign interference.” Also the Anatolia Turkish agency quoted on 31/10/012 for Abdulaziz Rahabi who previously served as Minister of Communications and government’s spokesperson as saying, “The Americans may request from Algeria to play a role similar to the role of Pakistan in the international war against Taliban and al-Qaeda inside Afghanistan.” Explaining that “they will demand from Algeria to provide information and assistance to facilitate any air flights…”
In light of this, Algeria has clearly shown flexibility and leniency towards American contacts, as Britain does, and America is no doubt aware of this. America apparently believes that this is the first step to participate; America sees the influence by using economic temptation or by using the terrorism scarecrow, for other means of pressure! After all, this leniency was apparent in several visits for American officials to Algeria in the recent months. Algerian Minister of Foreign Affairs Mourad Medelci, during his September visit to Washington praised the last evolution in U.S. relations with the Algerians and the consultations between them about the trouble spots in the region. He said, “that there is coordination and partnership between the countries of the Sahel (coast) and the partner countries, including the United States, to provide the right conditions to fight terrorism through information systems, technology, and equipment.” He pointed to the development of relations between Algeria and Washington in terms of military and economic cooperation, because the United States is the primary trade partner for Algeria, standing at 17 billion dollars in 2011. (APS 1/11/012) The same agency said that the second meeting of the strategic dialogue between the two countries will take place next year in Algeria.
This was clarified through the statement issued by the Algerian Foreign Ministry on 28/10/012 a day before Clinton’s visit in which it said: “the Clinton visit falls within the context of the first session of the Algerian-US Strategic Dialogue, which was held on October 19 of this month in Washington, which gave a significant boost for political consultation between the two countries.” The statement added, “The talks will focus on strengthening the economic and security partnership between the two countries on regional and international issues.” (UPI Agency U.S. 28/10/2012)
4- It is painful that Muslim countries including Algeria, Mali, and others are under the conflict between the major powers due to the absence of the Khilafah. These powers, the Kafir colonialist powers, are jostling over Muslim countries to consolidate influence over the Muslim lands and plunder their resources as well as preventing their return to implement their Deen in their lives through the establishment of the Khilafah.
Although, the Muslim people are rejecting any foreign interference, the existing regimes in their countries are satisfied with this intervention. These regimes are ready to accept the foreign interference. They are loyal to the Kafir colonialist countries, because it was founded on the basis of subordination to the West, through its constitutions and regulations and they appoint its rulers on this basis. The rulers have been groomed to be loyal and followers of these countries. If we don’t rid these regimes, their constitutions, their rulers and the existing ruling mentality, then the Muslim lands will remain an arena for conflict between these countries.
However, when Algeria was a Wilayah in the Islamic Caliphate at the time of the Ottomans; America paid taxes to Algeria whenever their ships passed through the Islamic waters of the state. As stated in U.S. Archives, ” America and its president and founder, George Washington signed an agreement dated 09/05/1795 AD with the Wali of Algeria, Hassan Pasha, that America must pay 12 thousand pounds of gold every year for the passage of its U.S. ships from the waters of the Wilayah of Algiers, and must pay 642 thousand pounds gold immediately in exchange for the Americans who were captured as well as being captured by the naval forces of the Caliphate State; when the first 11 American ships passed for the first time during the months of tenth and eleventh of 1793 “… Thus, this is how America used to regard Algeria when it was a Wilayah in the Caliphate State. America then used to fear Algeria, let alone thinking about having influence in Algeria…!”
The duty on every Muslim who believes in Allah Almighty and His Messenger is to work to establish a caliphate that will restore the victory and glory for the nation. The first and foremost is to please Allah, this nation is the best nation out of people … This is a source of glory of this nation and its victory.
(وَلَيَنْصُرَنَّ اللَّهُ مَنْ يَنْصُرُهُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَقَوِيٌّ عَزِيزٌ )
“Allah will certainly aid those who aid His (cause);- for Verily Allah is full of strength, Exalted In Might, (able to enforce His Will.” [40/22]
27 Dhu al-Hijjah 1433