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The Dying Sahara: US Imperialism and Terror in Africa Paperback – March 14, 2013

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“There is much in Keenan’s analysis that is compelling and persuasive. The writing is excellent and Keenan knows the region and its people extremely well.”
(Journal of Islamic Studies)

About the Author

Jeremy Keenan is a Professorial Research Associate at the School of Oriental and African Studies. He has written many books including The Dark Sahara (Pluto, 2009). He acts as a consultant to numerous international organisations on the Sahara and the Sahel, including the United Nations, the European Commission and many others.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Pluto Press (March 14, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0745329616
  • ISBN-13: 978-0745329611
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,104,478 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Robert J. Prince on May 4, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The situations, machinations of the many complex players - countries of the region, not-so-great powers like france and the US of A., local peoples like the Tuaregs - are explained in this book as well as anywhere by one of the few independent scholars of the region - Jeremy Keenan, world class expert on what is transpiring there. The story itself - an ugly tale - is beautifully and comprehensively told: how the United States has helped instigate regional instability in order to justify the opening of its second front on the global war on terrorism - in the Sahara. In the background - it's all about oil, natural gas, uranium, gold - and what nations and companies won't do in the name of human greed.
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Format: Paperback
In 1991 I did a school project on the Sahel (the edge of the Sahara) which at the time was being deforested. Thanks to an information packet from Save The Children, I learned about a Taureg who was trying to learn modern ways in order to save his tribe. He may not have had any education, but he had foresight; he knew the grazing lands were disappearing, and their goats were there main source of wealth. The man’s name was El Mahloud, and I often wonder what became of him.

Since 2007, the Niger government has been killing the Toureg, who at the time were mostly unarmed. Starting in the 1990’s, Algeria’s Baath regime was fighting Islamist rebels in the south, and after that ended, there was a population explosion, grazing lands became scarce, and you had conflict. One important thing to remember about African conflict is that the borders never took into account the tribes that lived within them. When the nomadic peoples were stopped from crossing the borders, they ended up in conflict over where to graze their animals. At first, nobody cared. Then the mining companies found minerals in the desert, and that brought them into conflict with the people living there. Finally, the Al-Queda started courting the Toureg, and all hell broke loose.

The Sahara might never have become a divisive area if nobody were drilling for oil. But with oil prices rising, any place with oil looks attractive, and no corrupt government will refuse mining and drilling rights. In a country like Niger, all that the oil company has to do is say “get rid of those local tribes for me”, and the army will happily oblige. They’ll use soldiers from a different tribe, so nobody will feel guilty. But the Toureg know the terrain better than others, so they’re able to make quick raids.
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