NIGHTWATCH: The Mali Expedition Begins – Illustrated – Is Niger Oil the Real Reason? 1:50,000 Charts?

04 Inter-State Conflict, 05 Civil War, 08 Wild Cards
Cities Taken By Islamists
Click on Image to Enlarge

Algeria: The Algerian government has given tacit approval for an African-led military intervention in Mali so long as there are no troops stationed on Algerian soil.

Comment: This means that Algeria will try to help by sealing its border with Mali once the intervention begins [never mind the Tauregs behind their lines].

Mali: Update. News services reported today that the prospect of a war in northern Mali against fundamentalist Islamists and al-Qaida affiliates advanced significantly after European governments promised to back an international force to retake the region from Islamist groups, provided it is led by soldiers from African countries.

While preparations continue to retake the north, foreign jihadists reportedly are arriving in northern Mali to reinforce the Islamic militants.

Comment: This week’s major development is that the Europeans promised to finance the operations. The problems of operating in northern Mali are enormous, requiring extensive resources just to sustain supplies of ammunition, fuel, food and water, not to omit coordination between forces from different states. The supply problems alone would tax a modern military force from a single nation.

A multi-national operation compounds the problems exponentially, especially if English-speaking and French-speaking forces try to cooperate. France and its NATO allies must provide the communications, maintenance, intelligence and supply backbone or this intervention will stand no chance of success. It looks like another Libya operation. No matter how the operations are presented to the public, the US will be doing much of the heavy lifting because no other nation in the world can. That is why the US has an Africa Command.

Below the line: various map images and airports with runway lengths.

Islamic Control
Taureg Cross-Border Unrest
Available Maps 1:250, 1:500

Airports in Mali

Click in the map or on the links listed to view airport web sites.
Click here for the map of Africa.
Click here if you are missing navigation panel to the left!

Click here for explanations on technical data
Town Airport name ICAO IATA Usage Customs Runway IFR Rwy length
Ansongo Ansongo GAAO Civ. No Unpaved No 3600 ft
Bafoulabe Bafoulabe GABF Civ. No Unpaved No 2900 ft
Bamako Senou GABS BKO Civ. Yes Paved Yes 8800 ft
Bandiagara Bandiagara GABD Civ. No Unpaved No 2900 ft
Bougouni Bougouni GABG Civ. No Unpaved No 2900 ft
Bourem Bourem GABR Civ. No Unpaved No 5000 ft
Douentza Douentza GADZ Civ. No Unpaved No 2600 ft
Gao Korogoussou GAGO GAQ Civ. Yes Paved Yes 8200 ft
Goundam Goundam GAGM GUD Civ. No Unpaved No 4900 ft
Kayes Kayes GAKY KYS Civ. Yes Paved Yes 3800 ft
Kenieba Kenieba GAKA KNZ Civ. No Unpaved No 2900 ft
Kidal Kidal GAKL Civ. No Unpaved No 4500 ft
Kita Kita GAKT Civ. No Unpaved No 2900 ft
Kolokani Kolokani GAKN Civ. No Unpaved No 2900 ft
Koutiala Koutiala GAKO KTX Civ. No Unpaved No 3900 ft
Manantali Bengassi Civ. No Paved No 4900 ft
Markala Markala GAMA Civ. No Unpaved No 2900 ft
Menaka Menaka GAMK Civ. No Unpaved No 3600 ft
Mopti Barbe GAMB MZI Civ. Yes Paved No 8200 ft
Nara Keibane GANK NRM Civ. No Unpaved No 5300 ft
Niafunke Niafunke GANF Civ. No Unpaved No 3900 ft
Nioro Nioro GANR NIX Civ. Yes Paved No 4900 ft
Sikasso Sikasso GASK KSS Civ. No Unpaved No 6200 ft
Tessalit Tessalit GATS Civ. No Paved No 8200 ft
Tombouctou Tombouctou GATB TOM Civ. Yes Paved No 4900 ft
Yelimane Yelimane GAYE EYL Civ. No Unpaved No 5200 ft