In April 2012, I had written about a series of coups and counter-coups in the north western African nation of Mali. The tribal people Tuaregs had wrested control from the democratically established government and declared an independent state in Azawad. 'Mali?' you ask. Think Timbuktu. Here is a map
From American attorney Matthew Belcher's Facebook page, a good summary: "The Tuareg rebels are Berber nomadic tribesman caught inside the borders of four different Northwest African countries (the western "Maghreb") within the French sphere of "influence". They have for decades sought independence and hoping to take advantage of the recent southern-Mali power vacuum seized the north Saharan-area of Mali and proclaimed an autonomous region for the Tuareg people. However, a power struggle then erupted in the north between the Tuaregs and local al Qaeda-linked radicals, who wound up in control of a large area as the Tuaregs retreated."
The problem is that if Al Qaeda establishes a base and operates in that region it would be a catastrophe for the world in the long term (the terrorist group can can reach out to Boko Haram in Nigeria, the GIA in Algeria, etc.).
The Pulitzer Center for Crisis reporting published a good summary today as part of a e-book (you can purchase) regarding the situation.
Dispatches From the Lost Country of Mali
"What happens when a country suddenly splits in two? In 2012, Mali, once a poster child for African democracy, all but collapsed in a succession of coups and countercoups as Islamist rebels claimed control of the country's north, making it a new safe haven for al Qaeda. Prizewinning author Peter Chilson became one of the few Westerners to travel to the conflict zone in the following months to document conditions on the ground. What he found was a hazy dividing line between the uncertain, demoralized remnants of Mali's south and the new statelet formed in the north by jihadist fighters, who successfully commandeered a long-running rebellion by the country's ethnic Tuareg minority to turn Mali into a new frontier in the fast-morphing global war on terror."
Mali only earned their independence from France in 1960, and neighboring Algeria got their independence from France in 1962. France is interested in that part of the world, and despite other African countries and the UN have been talking and talking and talking and talking about doing something about Mali, this week, France stopped talking and went in.
France bombs Islamist strongholds deep in north Mali
"French fighter jets pounded Islamist rebel strongholds deep in northern Mali on Sunday as Paris poured more troops into the capital Bamako, awaiting a West African force to dislodge al Qaeda-linked insurgents from the country's north. The attacks on Islamist positions near the ancient desert trading town of Timbuktu and Gao, the largest city in the north, marked a decisive intensification on the third day of the French mission, striking at the heart of the vast area seized by rebels in April."
In last April's essay, I said to "note that the nations just to Mali's north, that African northern tier, are both Arab Spring nations, and also Gog-Magog nations, meaning, nations that are prophesied to ally with Russia and Turkey and Iran to attack Israel in the last days."
Let's take a look at the nations prophesied to come together to attack Israel in the last days in a battle that Ezekiel describes in Ezekiel 38-39:
Magog: Southern Russia and Northern Iran. The Baltic States. All areas with a Muslim majority. Turkey & Armenia. Iran, Sudan, Ethiopia, Libya. Not just the borders of those nations today but larger tracts. The Northern tier of Africa, in other words. For more information on the nations involved etc. see Joel C. Rosenberg's essay on the Gog/Magog battle
The incursion of France into Islamist-held northern Mali also is another intensification of the East against the West which is really Islam against Christianity. As North and South Sudan split along religious lines last year (northern
being Islam and southern being Christian) and the northern tier of
Africa is prophesied to ally with the other Arab states and attack
Israel in the last days in the Gog Magog war. The Mali situation is
another indicator of rapid prophetic shifts in preparation for the
end-game seismic shift we know as The Tribulation.