France is Washington's lead attack dog.
by Stephen Lendman
At issue is scrambling for Africa's resources. They're vast. They're some of the world's largest and richest.
They include oil, gas, gold, silver, diamonds, uranium, iron, copper, tin, lead, nickel, coal, cobalt, bauxite, wood, coltan, manganese, chromium, vanadium-bearing titanium, agricultural lands, and offshore fishing.
AFRICOM was established to pursue them. Resource/mineral wars define America's agenda.
Mali is strategically located. It's West Africa's largest country. It's more than double the size of France. It borders on seven nations. They include Algeria, Niger, Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Guinea, and Cote D'Ivoire (Ivory Coast).
Its northwestern area is largely arid desert or semi-desert. The Sahel runs through its central region. Rainfall and rivers make southwestern territory marginally more lush than the rest of the country.
The Niger River is its most important geographic feature. It traverses the Sahel and southeastern region. It's a major transportation artery.
Mali's resources matter. They comprise a treasure trove of discovered and yet to be developed riches.
They include gold, diamonds, phosphates, bauxite, lignite, kaolin, salt, limestone, gypsum, granite, marble, diatomite, hydropower, iron ore, manganese, tin, lead, zinc, copper, oil, gas, and uranium.
Mali is Africa's third largest gold producer after South Africa and Ghana. It's rich in uranium. It has an estimated 5,000 tons or more. It's neighbor Niger is the world's fourth largest producer.
In 2007, Algeria's state oil company Sonatrach and Canada's Selier Energy signed oil and gas exploration deals. In mid-2012, drilling began. Other companies are involved.
Taoudenni is a remote northern Malian salt mining region. It's large area includes part of Mauritania and southern Algeria. It's oil deposits are potentially large.
They're untapped. They remain to be developed. Four other sedimentary basins have potential worth exploring.
Mali matters. It's worth contesting for. France drafted a UN resolution. In 2011, It was Washington's lead attack dog on Libya. It's serving the same role against Mali.