Thursday, 29 March 2012



Western governments and NATO have issued the usual formal reprimands, but Touré clearly was no longer considered as a reliable ally by NATO. On November 24, L’Express quoted a highly placed anonymous French official familiar with the region, who complained: “We are very furious with the Malians. Whether it concerns the al-Qaeda cells in the Islamic Maghreb operating in the extreme north of the country, their links with the Tuaregs or the Latin American cocaine traffic in transit to Europe, it is no longer a question of passivity on their part but complicity. We have irrefutable proof. [al-Qaeda] is stronger today than before the launch in 2008 of the Sahel Plan, an anti-terrorist arrangement in which Paris invested enormous resources.”

Last month, Touré had granted an interview to L’Express, stating: “concerning the local Arabo-Tuareg rebellions, Gaddafi engaged in mediation, the disarmament and reintegration. His overthrow has left a vacuum….very early, we alerted NATO and others about the collateral effects of the Libyan crisis. To no avail.”

In fact, Touré maintained close ties to Gaddafi, for which he claimed he had “no regrets. Libya made substantial investments with us in tourism, hotels, agriculture and banking, contributing to our development.”


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