Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Abayomi Azikiwe, PANW Editor, Featured on Press TV World News: 'French Invasion Worsens Humanitarian Crisis Inside Mali'

French invasion worsens humanitarian crisis inside Mali: Abayom'i Azikiwe

To watch this interview with Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan-African News Wire, just click on the website below:

Mon Feb 25, 2013 1:23PM GMT

NATO and its supporters are actually worsening the humanitarian crisis in Mali though their intervention was claimed to be aimed at stabilizing the region, a political analyst tells Press TV.

On January 11, France launched a war on Mali under the pretext of halting the advance of fighters who had taken control of the north of the African nation. The United States, Canada, Britain, Belgium, Germany, and Denmark have voiced support for the move. The French-led war on Mali has caused a serious humanitarian crisis in northern areas of the country, displacing thousands of people, who now live in deplorable conditions.

Press TV has conducted an interview with Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan-African News Wire (Detroit), to further discuss the issue of the colonial war of France in Mali.

A rough transcription of the interview with Abayomi Azikiwe follows.

Press TV: The numbers really hone in the human cost of France's war in Mali, doesn't it? What do you make of it?

Azikiwe: It is a very serious revelation that has come out in this United Nations' Children's Fund report. It indicates altogether that some 1.2 million people have been impacted by the fighting in Mali which is the direct result of the Pentagon and NATO's bombing of Libya in 2011.

Of course this fueled the historic conflicts that are taking place between the Tuareg in northern Mali and the central government based in the south of the country in Bamako.

Specifically in regard to this United Nations' report, it indicates that it is very difficult for the United Nations humanitarian organizations to carry out their work inside the country due to the increased militarized situation that exists on the ground. They are trying to open up a corridor between Niamey which is located in Niger and the northern Malian areas that are most severely affected.

And of course, this is extremely difficult with ordinances being dropped, with ground forces operating from France, as well as the Malian military and their allies from numerous countries throughout West Africa.

This is a situation in which people are in desperate need of food and as a result of this, school children are the most severely impacted by the crisis.

I think this report is an important contribution so people in the international community can actually see what the impact France's intervention has done and also the intervention that took place in 2011 in regard to the situation in Libya.

Press TV: Indeed. Now also what is interesting is that UNICEF's report says two hundred thousand children have been left without education, i.e. access to schools. It is not just limited to the north of the country. It is also happening in the south.

This is the whole of Mali being embroiled in a catastrophe as many have pointed out and under this media blackout by the French forces, it does beg the question what is actually going on down there?

Azikiwe: Well even the French defense ministry has announced that hundreds of people have been killed just in the last several weeks in fighting inside of Mali.

It also indicates that the gross human rights violations that are taking place inside the country, most of these violations are being attributed to the Malian military. But it is obvious that the French bombs that are being dropped on the various cities inside of northern Mali as well as the bombing of the Ifoghas mountainous regions in the north on the border with Algeria have resulted in this dislocation as well as large scale casualties.

So it indicates that despite the fact that France and its supporters within the United States and NATO, who are saying that the intervention on January 11th was designed to stabilize the situation inside the country, has actually worsened the humanitarian crisis inside of Mali.

There are over five hundred thousand refugees who have been displaced. Also a large number of those five hundred thousand people have been displaced internally inside the country.

So it is a very serious crisis and it needs to be exposed for people all around the world to actually see the impact of what France and the other countries are actually doing inside of Mali.

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