By William Tucker
Guinea has agreed to release a shipment of military arms bound for Mali following an inspection by Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). The arms shipment was held up because ECOWAS was still mediating in the crisis between the Malian military and the civilian government. The transfer of power to a new unity government back in August helped clear the way for international assistance in reclaiming the northern portion of Mali for Bamako. Further evidence that some form of intervention will eventually occur was the resolution passed by the UN Security Council giving the regional party’s 45 days to conceive a plan to retake the north from al-Qaeda and some Tuareg rebel groups. Although it has taken time, the African countries bordering Mali, not to mention the U.S. and France, have a vested interest in tackling the al-Qaeda problem. In the last few years militancy has spread in North Africa due to multiple factors, and if the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi is any indication, it is a problem that must be dealt with sooner rather than later.