Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan-African News Wire, discussing the French imperialist intervention in the West African state of Mali. Paris has bombed and invaded the mineral-rich state., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
To watch this interview with Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan-African News Wire, just click on the website below:
Sun Feb 3, 2013 6:46PM GMT
An analyst says with job minister Michel Sapin’s announcement that France is bankrupt it is plain to see why it is intervening militarily in resource-rich Mali.
In the background of this, international criticism is growing over human rights abuses by Malian troops - the UN has accused the country’s army of carrying out multiple summary executions. French President Francois Hollande has visited the West African country of Mali. The country is coping with a French military intervention working with the Malian army with the stated purpose to weed out terrorist cells that have taken over significant areas and have engaged in foreign hostage taking in neighboring Algeria.
These terror groups are reportedly from Libya used by the French and it’s Western allies to topple the Libyan government and secure oil fields etc. of that country. Observers also speculate that humanitarian concerns are not the only reason why France has intervened militarily in Mali as the country possesses energy and precious metal resources and war may help or distract from serious economic woes at home in France.
Press TV has interviewed Abayomi Azikiwe, editor for Pan African News Wire, about this issue. The following is an approximate transcription of the interview.
Press TV: French President Francois Hollande was in Mali recently. What change can we expect to see in France’s policy towards Mali in the long run?
Azikiwe: I believe that the French intervention in Mali represents a long term strategy on the part of Paris to enhance its economic, political as well as military influence not only in Mali but throughout the entire region of West Africa.
The staged rally today in Timbuktu really doesn’t mean a lot when you look at the concrete conditions that are happening on the ground inside of Mali.
As you alluded to earlier, both Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch reported gross human rights violations against the civilian population in Mali as a result of this military intervention.
Of course President Hollande has been attributing all of these atrocities to the Malian military and he warned the Malian military today that they needed to quote “behave themselves”. Absolving the French military forces, which have been carrying out bombing operations and ground operations inside the country, absolving them of all the responsibility for the human rights violations.
This is totally unacceptable as far as the international human rights community is concerned and therefore France in the long term will have to be held accountable for its actions inside of Mali.
Press TV: Just to add to that, the French finance minister has recently said France has become bankrupt. What kind of a business does a bankrupt country have in another country?
Azikiwe: I think this is fuelling the militarism of France. The Hollande administration had a very low approval rating prior to this intervention. It brought up President Hollande’s approval rating by only 4 percent.
There are extreme economic problems that exist in France. The unemployment rate officially is above 10.8 percent. There are serious problems in regard to unemployment, poverty and also racial issues in France itself. They have a large African, Arab and Middle Eastern population outside the cities such as Paris. And of course they suffer from tremendous amounts of national discrimination and inequality.
Of course just a few years ago there were massive rebellions and demonstrations against racism in France by the African and Arab population groups.
So this is designed to deflect attention away from the tremendous economic problems in France. You have French citizens who have gone into exile because of the tremendous economic problems that exist inside the country.