On the front with Mali

by The Nommz on April 20, 2015 - 5:19pm

                           Mali the former French colony once called French Sudan has become one of the many new areas in which U.N troops are currently operating in. since 2012 conflict in Mali became part of the expanding global war on terror, with Mali’s Northern territories coming under the control of radical Islamist groups such as spinoffs of Al-Qaida and Tuareg rebels. These groups took advantage of the governments inability to secure the borders of Mali after a Coup by the military that successfully overthrew Mali’s democratically elected president Amadou Toumani. On January 11th 2013 the Malian military was defeated at the strategic town of Konna, which left the army in tatters prompting president Amadou Sanogo to request military aid from France. France responded sending a total of 5100 troops into the region, to operate alongside the troops of the Malian army in order retake the country’s north.                                                                                                                                                                                            

          After the successful intervention of French forces in the region, a U.N task force was assigned to Mali aimed at restoring order and looking into any human rights violations, which may have been committed. The U.N role in Mali has become one of the most violent in resent memory. Aljeezera’s article called “Mali asks the U.N to send more troops” elaborates on the conditions U.N forces face in the region by highlighting the resent amount of casualties. Since the mission’s introduction in July of 2013, 31 peacekeepers have been killed and 66 others wounded by attacks made by extremists. Recently 10 Chadian peacekeepers were killed in bombings, and 9 Nigerian troops were killed in the greatest single attack since the mission began. Such acts have prompted officials to demand more troops and better security for the U.N mission in Mali dubbed “MINUSMA” which the U.N is looking to provide. The problem mainly lies in the fact that since France has downsized its involvement, the Mission lacks the support it needs to be a continued success. The Malian army has not filled in the gaps which the French forces left behind, and as a result the peacekeepers have become easy targets for militants seeking to further establish control in the region. The U.N under pressure by many of the 30 governments involved in the mission in Mali has pledged to secure more aid for the mission, in the form of more troops and supplies. With the future stability of the region at hand it is vital that the members of the mission in Mali send as much aid as possible to ensure the mission be a success, Or risk it become a failure a see another nation within the continent of Africa fall into chaos and instability.




http://www.aljazeera.com/news/africa/2014/10/mali-asks-un-send-more-     troops-201410901613685163.html






This article is strong in terms of explaining the recent events that have occurred in the conflict in Mali. I found the specific examples of casualties that you provided to be extremely useful in understanding the scale of the problem. However, the article can be improved even further if you were to make your argument for the duty of other countries to send more aid and troops to Mali. As you mentioned, since the conflict began in Mali, several peacekeepers have been killed or wounded by attacks made by the extremists. At the same time, this also means that the various countries involved are becoming more hesitant to send in troops due to the possible level of danger posed to their troops. Citizens of those countries may also oppose involvement because the conflict is in Africa, far away from where they live. To respond, you could say that, from a deontological perspective, people have the moral obligation to obey certain principles. In this case, people have the duty to stop needless bloodshed whenever they can. Specifically, Immanuel Kat proposed the categorical imperative, which states that one should always do that which one wills everyone should do. Thus, if all the countries currently involved sends in more aid and troops to Mali, the conflict can be contained or even resolved more quickly. Hence, your article is already very informative, but can be made even more convincing if you had used ethics arguments to back up your points.

Your article is very interesting and describes a sensitive issue. You seem to think that military intervention in Mali is mandatory to restore order. I think it is important that you acknowledge the standpoint of ethical relativism. For relativists, different cultures will develop differently and give rise to different sets of values that will then define what is moral. Therefore, what is seen as moral differs from one culture to another, and each culture evaluates the morality of the other based on its own standards. However, these standards are not universal and should not be applied to other cultures. Hence, the systems of values of different cultures are all equally valid. From a relativist perspective, militarized intervention is therefore not justifiable because the system of beliefs that underlie the UN and such countries as France cannot be considered superior to the system of beliefs that would be instituted if we did let the situation in Mali evolve naturally (it only appears to us that our values are more moral than theirs, because our values and our culture give rise to our system of morals). According to this framework, the United Nations (and certainly not a particular country like France) should not be able to decide to intervene in another country to “restore” what they consider to be order, because that basically boils down to a form of imperialism or colonialism, where a party imposes its culture, its morals and its way to see the world because it is convinced that it has found some kind of universal truth, which cannot exist since the sets of morals of all culture are equally valid but yet not identical.

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