While the UN Security Council debates military intervention in Mali, it appears regional peacekeepers in West Africa are headed toward some sort of military intervention in order to allow the interim Mali government and indigenous rebels to sort things out, without creating further humanitarian tragedies. In a region plagued with poverty, drought and remnants of European colonial misrule, negotiating transitions to indigenous autonomy or independence is further complicated by US State Department focus on Islamic terrorism to the exclusion of legitimate human rights grievances. Given both France (the former colonial ruler of Mali) and the US are both Security Council members, reining in their tendency toward blind aggression demands that African states and civil society in the West curb the unreasonable use of force to protect state privilege at the expense of indigenous nations and their right under international law to self-governance.
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