From my pal Guy in Bamako…
It is great to be back in Mali. In Bamako all is as ever - fun, funny and friendly - but obviously the country is on tenterhooks about what is about to befall them. Being here now has shown me that this really is an foreign crisis on Malian soil. Despite rebellion and coups and countercoups, the people have not turned in on themselves.
On the international level, at last the Mali crisis seems to be being taken seriously. Hillary Clinton gave a good sign that the US now realises that sorting out Mali should be one of top priorities for the international community at a UN Secretary General meeting on the Sahel: http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2012/09/198233.htm
In Bamako my fetish about security measures taken by authorities in times of crisis is tickling my belly:
To come soon: News about the Festival In The Desert, usually in Timbuktu in January, becoming a Caravan Of Peace. The Caravan will be travelling from the dunes of Mauritania. Mauritania to Bamako, onto Segou for The Festival On The Niger and continuing down to Burkina Faso to join up with the refuggee camps and have a couple of nights of concerts in the dunes of Burkina. This will be in February 2013.
Of course From Here 2 Timbuktu will be following the caravan. I will be offering my Sahara Overland trip from mid jan to join the Caravan of Peace from early february in Mauritania. More on this to follow.
Next on my blog: why I now feel that the US hold the only key to solving the Mali crisis.
All the best,