The 22nd March 2012, the wheeler dealer and corrupt president Amadou Toumani Touré was pulled down by a putsch led by non-commissioned officers who were supported by soldiers of the defeated army in Northern Mali. This coup happened while soldiers’ wives and Bamako workers were rallying against the power. A temporary government was later reconstituted, with much effort, under the authority of the CEDEAO’s West African governments, with the sponsoring of the French imperialism. It proved unable to end the Islamists’ spread in the North and it never acquired a political legitimacy with the masses. With the split of the army between the discredited corps officers – the framework of the ATT dictatorship – on the one hand, and the rank-and-file soldiers on the other hand, all the State machinery was crumbling.
For months, the French imperialism has been striving for restoring an arrangement that can be consistent with the continuation of business in Mali. After their pledge in Dakar, last October, that “Françafrique is over”, Hollande and his government supported and obtained from the United Nations a motion allowing a military intervention. Yet the government thought it could easily get away in letting the CEDEAO, which is trained and to a large extent equipped by it, act on his behalf. The dramatic worsening of the military situation forced the puppeteer to come in the limelight.
Usually, all the imperialisms mask their operations under the cover of the defense of democracy. It was the case for advocating the war in Iraq, the war in Afghanistan, in Libya, it is the case today again for Mali: “France has no goal other than to fight terrorism”, claims Hollande in January 12th. Actually Mali, as well as Ivory Coast where the French imperialism also intervened in 2011, is a centerpiece of its post-colonial plan in Africa. Every position is a stake in the fight between various imperialisms, in Africa and everywhere else. This is the main motive for the French intervention. Mali’s mining resources, mainly in the North and in the East – oil, gas, uranium, gold, phosphate, gemstones –, are unexploited to a large extent, and they attract greed from all imperialisms.
All the bourgeois parties (UMP, UDI, MoDem, FN, PRG, EELV) support the intervention. “It was about time to act for holding up the installation of a narco-terrorist State”, claimed Copé, while for Fillon, “the fight against terrorism requires the unity of the nation beyond sectarian divisions”. For the National Front (FN), “the French intervention in Mali which was decided today by the President must be supported, to the extent that our country was called for help by the lawful government of Mali…”
The parties stemming from the working class that are attached to the defense of the French capitalism and of its positions in the world, the advocates of economic patriotism, refuse to condemn the intervention or unashamedly support it. For the French Communist Party (PCF), “an international intervention was urgent and necessary”. It is anxious for the French army: “The French military intervention wears risks of war and of stalemate…” It would have privileged the original version of the French imperialism that is an intervention through third parties: “The PCF recalls that the answer to the request of the President of Mali for help should have been given within a mission by the United Nations and the African Union…” The Left Party (PdG) does not oppose either its bourgeoisie banditry: for Mélenchon, if “the interest of an external military intervention for sorting out the problem in Northern Mali is questionable”, the problem comes from the method: “it is reprehensible to decide alone, without previously consulting the government or the Parliament”. For the Socialist Party (PS), Harlem Désir states: “I express our solidarity with the Malian people and our most complete support to our armed forces”.
Mali’s people have no solution with the Islamist gangs or with the French army. Against the complete failure of the bourgeoisie and of the army, which are sold out to the French imperialism, the only way for the masses to defend their basic demands and to set a course for the country is to get organized and armed in order to take the power for themselves and to form a workers’ and peasant’s government, to pave the way for the Socialist United States of Africa. Mali needs a workers’ revolutionary party which fights for these objectives.
In France, which working class has tens of thousands workers originating from Mali, and which many young people in high schools and universities come from Mali or are children of Malians, the basic solidarity with Malian workers and peasants amounts to fight against our own raptor bourgeoisie, to prevent the military intervention of the mercenaries of French imperialism through mass action (demonstrations, strikes, transport blockades…). Such is the responsibility of the trade unions and of the parties who claim to be workers’.
Internationalist Communist Committee (Trotskyist) www.cci-t.org
Bolshevik Group [Permanent Revolution Collective] www.revolution-socialiste.info