Friday, January 11, 2013

France Intervenes in Mali

French military aircraft began attacking insurgent positions in Mali on 11 Jan 2013 and French President Francois Holland said the operation would last "as long as necessary."  "French Army forces supported Malian units this afternoon to fight against terrorist elements," added Mr. Hollande. "We are faced with blatant aggression that is threatening Mali's very existence. France cannot accept this."  Nigeria and Senegal are also involved although troop numbers and disposition are still unknown.

Military action by the French and other allies may be successful in reducing insurgent forces and driving them from power in northern Mali, but is the government of Mali ready to fill the power vacuum?  The political issues in Bamako still have not been resolved since Sanogo took power in a coup in March 2012 and the Malian military has been degraded.  When I traveled in Mali in 2011 it seemed that few police were evident and the biggest government presence were the military regional commands.

I wonder if the peace deal reached today between the Central African Republic and the Seleka rebel coalition was inspired in part by French involvement in Africa.  Perhaps the rebels were concerned that the French would change their minds about not getting involved in CAR

1 comment:

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