War in the Sahara: Insurrection, Intervention and Radical Islam in Mali and Northern Africa

Monday, March 11, 2013
4:00 - 6:00 pm
Land Hall (Belfer building, 4th floor)

War in the Sahara:
Insurrection, Intervention and Radical Islam in Mali and Northern Africa

a discussion with

Ambassador Rober Fowler

Canada’s longest serving Ambassador to the UN

Souad Mekhennet

Nieman Fellow, Journalist and columnist for NYT, der Spiegel and German TV

Michael Ignatieff

Professor of Practice, Harvard Kennedy School of Government

HAS FRANCE DEFEATED THE GROUPS ALLIED WITH AL-QAEDA ISLAMIC MAGRREB (AQIM) IN MALI OR HAVE THEY ONLY MELTED AWAY TO REGROUP LIKE THE RESISTANCE FOLLOWING THE U.S. INVASION OF IRAQ?

DISCUSSANT:  Ambassador Robert Fowler is one of Canada's most senior diplomats, was Canada’s longest serving Ambassador to the UN, and as an experienced Africanist has advised at least three prime ministers on foreign affairs. In 2009 while serving as a Special Envoy of the UN Secretary General to West Africa, he was kidnapped in Niger and held captive by rebels associated with Ansar al Adine and other al Qaeda affiliates in the Sahara, held for months and finally released. Few people know the rebel groups in Northern Africa as well as and as personally as he does.

DISCUSSANT:  Souad Mekhennet is a curent Nieman fellow. She is a journalist and columnist for the New York Times, der Spiegel and German TV. Since 9/11, she has covered conflicts and terrorist groups in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. Mekhennet helped report the “Inside the Jihad” series for the Times and together with her colleague Don van Natta, broke the story of Khaled el-Masri, a German-Lebanese man who had been kidnapped and sent via extraordinary rendition to Afghanistan. She previously reported for The Washington Post and is the co-author of two books about Islam and terrorism, which were published in Germany.

MODERATOR: Michael Ignatieff is a Canadian writer, teacher and former politician. He holds a doctorate in history from Harvard University and has held academic posts at Kings College, Cambridge and at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. He served in the Parliament of Canada and was Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada. His books include The Needs of Strangers, (1984), Scar Tissue (1992), Blood and Belonging, (1993) The Warriors Honour, (1997) Isaiah Berlin (1998) The Rights Revolution (2000) Human Rights as Politics and Idolatry (2001), The Lesser Evil: Political Ethics in an Age of Terror (2004).  Ignatieff holds a joint professorial appointment at the Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto and at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

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