As UK citizens it's important we stand in solidarity with CAAT's legal action, lending our signatures to their online petition, and lobbying our MPs to take a stand in the commons. It is clear, now more than ever, that the UK has to review this destructive trade relationship. It's time for the UK to #StopArmingSaudi.
The cancelling of Timbuktu's music festival this weekend is significant. In the past couple of weeks I've been getting emails about music making a return - something Mali has been desperately waiting for. I heard through my friend and colleague Andy Morgan that Manny Ansar, the director of The Festival in the Desert, possibly the most remote and awesome of all the festivals, seemed hopeful of bringing it back to Mali.
One of the rocks that climate change sceptics like to throw at those advocating action to tackle climate change is that it's all very well for the rich developed world to reduce its carbon footprint but it's immoral to ask the world's poor to give up cheap energy such as coal. Yes, climate change may be happening, they say, but it's unfair to pull up the fossil fuel ladder from developing countries.
The fierce debate raging inside the Algerian regime over greater or less interventionist action will continue. For now, North Africa's 'reluctant policeman' will no doubt stick to a number of its non-interventionist dogmas. However, should a cataclysmic event like In Amenas occur on Algerian soil once more, the country will have no choice but to take decisive action.
The French military intervention in Mali since mid-January and much of the official discussion of Mali in the UN and among Western governments seem to have been driven by a quite narrow and short-term view of the issues the country faces. As in anything, if the problem is mis-diagnosed, the solution will probably mis-fire.
Mali, along with several of its neighbouring countries in the Sahel region of West Africa, remains in a state of crisis. The rebel threat has not gone away, despite their withdrawal from strategic towns, and the recent fighting has increased tensions between different ethnic groups, some of whom have been associated with the rebels' cause.
In Mali, where Plan International is working, there are numerous cases of how children are haunted by the mere sound of military vehicles. Marita is one such child. The first time anyone knew that she was suffering the after-effects of the conflict in northern Mali was when an ambulance passed by. She suddenly screamed, dashed across the yard into her house and hid in a corner shaking...
The military cooperation agreements announced last month with Algeria and Libya are part of UK 'energy diplomacy' aimed at securing access to strategic resources in North Africa. Both countries are identified in the UK Energy Security Strategy as producers of gas and oil which are important trading partners and hence countries which are important to the UK's energy security.