Index

Index
The153 Club
The Agades Cross
People of the Sahara
Saharan Landscapes
Books on the Sahara(1)
Books on the Sahara(2)
Books on African Art
Saharan Salt Trade
The Gundi
Illizi Festival 2000
Sahara Freeze-up
Camel Cheese
153 News Update
Join the 153 Club

Père de Foucauld
L'Arbre du Ténéré 1
L'Arbre du Ténéré 2
Saharan Forts 1
Saharan Forts 2
Saharan Rock Art
Giraffe Engravings
Leo Africanus
Battuta's Saharan travels
Shabeni's Timbuktu
Timbuctoo the Mysterious
Heroditus & Pliny on Libya
Timbuktu, a poem

Joliba Trust
Ibn Khaldûn quotes 1
Ibn Khaldûn quotes 2
Ibn Khaldûn quotes 3
Ibn Khaldûn quotes 4
Ibn Khaldûn quotes 5
Ibn Khaldûn quotes 6

Old Michelin Maps
Early NW Africa Map 1
Early NW Africa Map 2
Early NW Africa Map 3
Early NW Africa Map 4
Early NW Africa Map 5
Saharan Exploration

Henry Barth 1
Henry Barth 2
Henry Barth 3
Denham & Clapperton 1
Denham & Clapperton 2
Haardt & Audouin-Dubreuil 1
Haardt & Audouin-Dubreuil 2
Haardt & Audouin-Dubreuil 3
Haardt & Audouin-Dubreuil 4

External Links

Jim Mann Taylor's Home Page
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153 News Update, Mar. 2018

This update has been compiled by Christer Wilkinson from a variety of sources.

March 2018 update:

Niger:
The town of Agades at the southern end of the Air Mountains was the subject of several news reports in March.
The economy of this once prosperous town with no tourists since the last rebel uprising some ten years ago, and the migrant smuggling to Libya curtailed from its boom last year, was uniformly depicted in these news reports as depressed but with many migrants still hoping for a break of some kind.
However, it is not clear how many migrants are still being smuggled out of Niger by other routes northwards and not from Agades. The statistics published by various agencies do not match up
To the north, Algeria continues to ship detained migrants southwards back to Niger and Mali. One report indicated that some were simply left at the Niger frontier. Others mention transshipment to Agades, which has a number of migrant relief organization centers.
In the north of the Air Mountains, at Iferouane, the 13th festival of the Air took place despite the poor economy and lack of tourists.
More details of the incident in which four Americans were killed in December in western Niger have become available, including recovery of some of the vehicles and weapons, But there are also reports of another conflict around the same time near Diffa in the south east of the country also with American ‘Advisers’, which had a completely different outcome, with numerous reported terrorist death and no American casualties.
The artisanal gold mining activity in the north of Niger near the Algerian frontier was the subject of another detailed report: this time identifying the location...”Tagharaba “at 20.75194N 7.83972E: another source gives 21.23585N 7.62179E However nothing is visible at either location on Google Earth.
The scale of the artisan effort described in the report, (from “Paris Match”), was surprising as were the pictures published of the mines themselves. The report claimed more than 600 mines at 50 centimeters from each other, presumably along a vein.
There was another curious report in the “Economist” about Niger, pointing out that with all the smuggling of drugs and migrants northwards towards Europe, the smugglers have empty trucks heading back south which has led to a state subsidized pasta smuggling route. (No, this was not a 1st April joke though it would seem so...)
The journalist from Mali, Baba Alpha from the press agency Bonferey was freed by the Niger government in March after a year in captivity in a prison in Niamey.

Hostages:
Alas no news of any kind reported this month. But no new hostages were reported.

Tchad:
The ongoing major strike by government employees and other organizations in Tchad was partially resolved.... until the next time! With a slightly higher price of oil, and the Glencore debt mitigation, there may be more funds available.
In the south of Tchad there was reported to be another surge in refugees from the Central African Republic to add to the many refugees in this area and in the east of the country.
The government of Tchad announced the creation of a “4th Republic” with longer presidential terms. Opposition groups claim that this is no more than another maneuver for the President to stay in power.
There was another clash between Boko Harem and Tchad forces near Lake Tchad in late March: the first such clash for some time.
Meanwhile over the frontier in Nigeria, Boko Harem captured a large number of schoolgirls ....again, but released most a few days later under odd circumstances.

Mali:
It would be most pleasant to announce that the number of incidents in Mali has dropped and economist reconstruction is underway. Unfortunately the opposite is the situation.
A succession of minor incidents, conflicts between groups, and landmine deaths punctuate the news reports. Security in the main towns of the north is not assured and there is only limited Mali government presence.
French military participation, as part of operation “Berkhane” continues, with almost weekly actions. The French announced at least 60 jihadist deaths in the month as a result of these actions. However an attack to capture Abu Walid al-Sahrawi, the head the rebel group (EIGS), failed.
But at the same time there is ongoing discussion on a limitation of the long term participation of French troops, who have now been in Mali some five years.
In the far north of Mali, reports indicated that returned migrants from Algeria were just dumped at the far north frontier near Bordj Mokhtar, and had to walk to the nearest Mali town. Later they protested outside the Algerian embassy in Bamako.
Early in April, in the south east of Mali near Menaka, and close to the Niger frontier a French/Malian patrol intercepted a rebel column and reportedly killed some 30 rebels. The reports indicated that just as in the incident which killed four Americans last December, the rebels attacked in a “swarm” of motorcycles. Clearly this is the new weapon platform of choice, possibly displacing “Technicals”, Land Cruiser Pickups with machine guns.
Also in April, a report was published announcing the transfer to the International Criminal Court in The Hague, of Al Hassan, a member of Ansar Eddine, (the Islamic group) for war crimes and crimes against humanity, including the destruction of historic mausoleums during the brief occupation by Islamic rebel groups of Timbuctoo in 2012/2013.



Index

Index
The153 Club
The Agades Cross
People of the Sahara
Saharan Landscapes
Books on the Sahara(1)
Books on the Sahara(2)
Books on African Art
Saharan Salt Trade
The Gundi
Illizi Festival 2000
Sahara Freeze-up
Camel Cheese
153 Club Newsletter
153 News Update
Join the 153 Club
Today's African News

Père de Foucauld
L'Arbre du Ténéré 1
L'Arbre du Ténéré 2
Saharan Forts 1
Saharan Forts 2
Saharan Rock Art
Giraffe Engravings
Leo Africanus
Battuta's Saharan travels
Shabeni's Timbuktu
Timbuctoo the Mysterious
Heroditus & Pliny on Libya
Timbuktu, a poem

Joliba Trust
Ibn Khaldûn quotes 1
Ibn Khaldûn quotes 2
Ibn Khaldûn quotes 3
Ibn Khaldûn quotes 4
Ibn Khaldûn quotes 5
Ibn Khaldûn quotes 6

Old Michelin Maps
Early NW Africa Map 1
Early NW Africa Map 2
Early NW Africa Map 3
Early NW Africa Map 4
Early NW Africa Map 5
Saharan Exploration

Henry Barth 1
Henry Barth 2
Henry Barth 3
Denham & Clapperton 1
Denham & Clapperton 2
Haardt & Audouin-Dubreuil 1
Haardt & Audouin-Dubreuil 2
Haardt & Audouin-Dubreuil 3
Haardt & Audouin-Dubreuil 4

External Links

Jim Mann Taylor's Home Page
___________________________