The end of the Tuaregs in Niger, Chad, Mali and Cameroon, Algeria
By Uwe Paschen.
Soon we will see a title such as "the last of the Tuaregs" due to the fact that no one seems to care nor speak up for them and maybe because they do not have a country of their own with lots of Oil or a Touristic paradise with some great beaches, nor are they subdued and would not serve any one with a smile wile taking an order from an abusive customer!
The Tuaregs are proud people that have been around for longer then most Nations other than China and India that is. Yet they never had a nation of their own really. Since where they lived for the last 2500 years was a place no one really wanted to be any how. tautened
The Tuaregs are the masters of the Desert and have been nomads for over 2000 years now, mainly trading, salt, dates, sugar, silver, Sheep, Camels, Horses, leather, through out North Africa, West Africa, the Middle east and even East Africa. They are multi lingual as well, speaking Tamacheck their own Tong, as well as French, Arabic, Peul, and some times even Persian and Spanish!
Yet since the end of the colonial powers and the creation of artificial boarders by the former Colonial powers dividing at random tribes, former Kingdoms, Soultanates and Ethnical groups, causing for great friction in Africa.
The Tuaregs find them self trapped by boarders they can not understand nor respect and by goverments that would like them to vanish for they are not obeying their some time strange and discriminating laws!
Until the Colonial Powers such as France, Great Briton, Italy, Spain and the Arabs took over the control of Africa the Tuareg Kingdom went all across the Sahel Desert, form the south of Morocco, true the south of Algeria and the south of Libya, all the way to the North of Chad, the East and North of Niger, the North tip of Cameroon all the way to the East and north part of To-days Mali! A remarkable land mass, yet one that is rather harsh and not-welcoming, with Temperature going up to as high as 60 degree Celsius in the day time and as low down to minus 5 degree Celsius at night! The extreme is so great at times that one can hear the rocks split under the stress of those temperature changes!
The Tuareg are simple and yet proud people. They give their last drink of water to a stranger in distress and this means the World in this part of the Earth. Yet They would fight to the death if someone was to take their freedom away!
Now since Uranium has been discovered and being mined in the Air Mountain in Niger the Tuaregs are in trouble, since this area is their home, their strong hold where for 2000 years the caravans came to exchange goods and fill up with water and new stories!
There is more to Agadez though, it use to have a university and many great intellectuals long before Europe even knew how to writ and read, the Roman destroyed the great Library in Mali and the one in Agadez as well, latter the Ottoman empire, the Spanish and the French did the rest!
The Housa goverment in the fertile south does not care about the Tuaregs nor they future. all it wants is the money from the Uranium and more power. Regarding the Tuaregs as a nuissance and at best as slaves if they would surrender!
The Tuaregs however would rather die then give up their way of life, their freedom or even their believes!
Today I was told that my good childhood friend Aboubacar-Alla was shot by the Government troops in Agadez the main City in the Air Mountain and where I grow up my self. He did apparently tried to stop the Government Soldiers to arrest some Children and their Mothers. A tactic used to intimidate the Locals by taking Children and Mothers, Torturing them and some times killing them, knowing very well that the Tuareg do care very much for they Children and the Mothers of those as well!
Aboubacar-Alla and I grew up together, we hunted Snakes and scorpions as children and we gave our Fathers much grief with all our adventures and escapades! Yet we grow up and went to University in France and Germany to study Engineering so we could go back home and help our people!
He went back and stayed, keeping silent to avoid trouble with the Government, I had to leave, for I could not shut up and got my self into trouble.
Even though I caused trouble for my Father and Friends back then, they never blamed me nor condemned me for it. As I left all they said back then was watch out and do not get your self killed!
Today Aboubacar-Alla is dead, Shot by the government, he who stood silent so he could help was killed!
Soon if nothing changes in Niger I will have writ about the last of the Tuaregs. Going back has crossed my mind, but not with guns nor hate for I know it would not solve any thing nor would it bring justice even though at times like today I feel like taking back the Sword, I chose not to. I writ in stead and call many up, trying to get sanction against the Government and for the USA, Canada, France and China to stop buying Uranium from Niger, so the Tuaregs may be free again and given equal rights!