October 21st, 2012
01:34 AM ET

What's behind the instability in Mali?

Mali is a ticking time bomb.

Once hailed as a model of democracy in Africa, a coup and an uprising of Islamist militants in the north threatens to create an arc of instability for the continent.

The militants have destroyed ancient shrines, once a major draw for Islamic scholars from around the world. They have banned music.

Reports of human rights abuses grow daily. And international leaders are considering sending troops to Mali soon to reclaim a large portion of the north from extremists.

They're concerned that al Qaeda will capitalize on the chaos and set up a haven there.

Here's a helpful explainer on what spurred the unrest in the country known, among other things, for a world-famous music festival where the likes of Robert Plant and Bono have performed.

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soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Kenny Rogers

    Hey Philip, i thought you were taking some time off from the cnn blog site?

    October 21, 2012 at 9:10 am | Report abuse |
  2. President Romney

    Six years ago Muslims around the world went into one of their usual blood-thirsty rages because Pope Benedict said the following:

    "Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." Of course, Pope Benedict was only quoting a remark made in the 14th century by the Byzantine emperor Manuel II Paleologus that derided Islam. But that didn't matter to Muslims.

    Pakistan's parliament unanimously condemned the pope for his comments. In Cairo, the Muslim Brotherhood urged Muslims to break relations with the Vatican if the pope does not apologize. In Turkey, some of the harshest reactions were from an official of the Islamic-rooted ruling party. He said Pope Benedict's words look like an effort to revive the mentality of the crusades, and he compared the pope to Hitler.

    October 21, 2012 at 9:10 am | Report abuse |
  3. Kenny Rogers

    I hope your intentions arent to try edumacate me to your way of thinking Philip, because thats just not gonna happen. Remember your hag list? Well you and all those on it as well a few others, are going away from here. Its time to say good bye for good!

    October 21, 2012 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Tsk, tsk, JR.
      I'm not going anywhere; deal with it.
      Are you really that ticked off that CNN cut your interview short in 2010?
      Oh, my, what a vindictive piece if work your are, Jeffy.

      October 21, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |