|When the al Qaeda flag comes out, the quasi-state is about to die. From Flickr|
Back in early April I wrote about the Independent State of Azawad, the world's newest unofficial country. In the post I described and warned of the need for pro-Azawad supporters to separate the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) from the al Qaeda-affiliate Ansar Dine. MNLA's stated goal was the establishment of a secular Azawad from Mali while Ansar Dine wanted an Islamist state established in all of Mali.
This past weekend that difference was breached with the MNLA and Ansar Dine uniting to issue a statement establishing the Islamic Republic of Azawad on May 26. By May 28, though, the deal had fallen apart with many lower-level MNLA supporters not comfortable with the Sharia-demands of Ansar Dine.
Unfortunately for those who support Azawad, the damage is done. The post-coup, interim government of Mali will have no problem demonstrating to France, the United States, and others that this war is a part of the greater Global War on Terrorism and that to defeat al Qaeda Mali must be made whole again.