Mali coup: Sanctions for all


Mali residents line up to buy gasoline on April 3, 2012 in Bamako. The troubled nation's military rulers faced fuel and money shortages from sanctions.


Issouf Sanogo

NAIROBI, Kenya — The African Union (AU) has followed regional bloc ECOWAS in imposing punitive sanctions on Mali, targeting both the coup leaders and the Tuareg rebels.

With its borders shut and imports blocked, Mali is under siege.

Fuel, cash and food are all running short.

It is hard to see how the junta can withstand the pressure.

The rebels may fare better. The Sahara desert is the nomads' home, its borders are pretty much theoretical and the Tuaregs have for generations ruled the trans-Sahara trade routes.

So while the junta in Bamako runs out of gas (and everything else) thanks to the closed borders the rebels will simply continue to use their ancient supply lines.

The regional and continental sanctions will damage the coup leaders more than the rebels.