“This is the final phase of the process since it is in that massif [the Ifoghas mountains] that AQIM forces have probably regrouped. Our Chadian friends launched an attack yesterday which was very harsh with significant loss of life. I want to praise what the Chadians are doing.”—French President Francois Hollande • Speaking on his nation’s military collaboration, along with African forces, against al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, a militant group in Mali now waging a weakening insurgency in the country’s far north. The group had claimed control of broad swaths of northern Mali in 2012, causing the government to request international military help, which Hollande and France (Mali was a French colony until 1960) have provided in the form of 4,000 soldiers deployed. And lest you think there’s a military operation of this sort the United States isn’t involved in, predator drones have been offered to the effort as well, which U.S. officials claim will be used to glean deployment information. source
What's this I hear about Mali?
by Alexis (Texas)
A good political cartoon never hurt anyone. Recently, African news has been focused on the conflict in Mali. The direct actions of the French, the indirect of the U.S., and those of the Islamist group are unfolding faster than a good book. As good international affairs students, staying on top of this issue is a way to learn outside of the classroom. It provides a real scenario to analyze the state, opposition and intervention. What do you think? What are the French really up against? What are the steps that should be taken moving forward?
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