Just when you thought Muammar Qaddafi's murderous legacy was beginning to fade, his former mercenaries go and destabilize one of West Africa's most tranquil democracies. As you may have heard, a coup d'etat is underway in Mali and in no small part, it's thanks to Qaddafi-armed nomads whom the deceased dictator enlisted to fend off Libyan rebels last year. Since January, these nomads, from the Tuareg ethnic group, have been attacking towns in northern Mali in a rebellion that has already displaced 200,000 civilians. A group of junior Mali officers have been so upset with how the government has handled the Tuareg rebellion, on Thursday, they decided to take it over, declaring the country's institution "dissolved" and Constitution suspended. Here's where Qaddafi's menacing began.
Last March, the BBC reported that a large number of men from the Tuareg ethnic group left Mali to join pro-Qaddafi militants. "It's true many young men are leaving. It all started about a week back, " a man from northern Mali said. They were reportedly paid $10,000 to join and $1,000 for every day of fighting. The BBC report was corroborated by an AFP story in which a Mali official gave a prescient quote: "It's very dangerous for us because whether [Qaddafi] resists or he falls, there will be an impact for our region."