The author, Coral Davenport, needs to go to an LRA meeting (Lazy Reporters Anonymous)…. “Hi my name is Coral and writing that the Sahara was expanding through Mali could have been wrong so I added “slow” and that way nobody can say it isn’t right because maybe I meant over the next 1000 years…” and then… “I do know that “starving” means to suffer severely or die from hunger, and that “farmers” would be taken by most people to mean “ordinary people in the region”, but actually if more than one person who also farms suffers from hunger, then it is technically true that “farmers are starving.”” and then finally, “Of course everyone knows that starving farmers, before they die, pledge blood oaths to Al-Qaeda, which then gives them enough food to fatten them up to become suicide bombers. How does everyone know this? Well I read it in a report prepared by a military think-tank.”
The most recent scientific reports on climate change warn that increasing drought in Africa is now turning arable land to desert. The national security report’s authors conclude that the slow but steady expansion of the Sahara through Mali, which is killing crops and leaving farmers starving, may have been a contributing force in the jihadist uprising in that African country in 2012. Since then, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb has seized control of northern Mali and remains in conflict with the Malian government.
I’m happy to be pointed to evidence that (1) the Sahara is steadily advancing in Mali, (2) farmers are starving, (3) starving farmers are connected somehow to Al-Qaeda, other than being in the same region.