France Announces Plans to Pull Troops out of Mali

French President François Hollande announced Wednesday, March 6 that France would begin moving troops out of Mali as early as April of this year, a month later than was originally planned.  Hollande stated that an UN-backed African coalition would take over once the withdrawal was complete, though French presence would remain strong through March and into […]

Identity of Dead Jihadist Remains Unclear

A photo taken by a RFI journalist in Tessalit, in Northern Mali, has added to the debate over whether or not two prominent Islamist militants remain active in Mali. The photograph is believed by some to be either of Abou Zeid and Mokhtar Belmokhtar, who may have been killed in an attack on March 2. […]

Mali Grand Finale – The Fall of Kidal

After three weeks of bitter struggle, jihadist terrorists in Mali have surrendered to French and Malian forces with the conquest of Kidal, a key city in the north of the country. The majority of rebels belonged to the groups MNLA and MIA (Movement for the Liberation of Azawad and Islamic Movement of Azawad, respectively) and […]

Guide to the Conflict in Mali: Part 2

Continued from Part 1 of La Jeune Politique’s Guide to the Conflict in Mali WHY MALI? AQIM (Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb) is a foreign force — the soldiers are not Malian and they apply a radical version of Charia law, a practice alien to the local people and to Malian culture. Many occurrences […]

Guide to the Conflict in Mali: Part 1

HOW WE GOT HERE Since gaining its independence from France in 1960, Mali has been dealing with northern Tuareg separatist movements. This ethnically Arabic group roams the desert in the north of the country and has rebelled many times in hopes of obtaining independence for what they call “the country of Azawad.” Their chance came […]

France Faces Criticism over Malian Intervention as Humanitarian Questions Arise

As new humanitarian concerns arise over the situation in Mali, tensions on the ground there have been highlighted by analysts and reporters. Several incidents of retaliation have been reported in recently liberated cities against both “white faces” (Arabic and Tuareg) and black Africans believed to have collaborated with the Islamists. Worse still, summary executions were […]

UN Supports France in Mali As More Civilians Pushed from Country

On Monday January 14, the United Nations Security Council discussed France’s intervention in Mali – also known as Operation “Serval” – after which the French Ambassador to the UN, Gérard Araud, declared, “The nation’s partners express a thorough understanding and firm support of their intervention in Mali.” Araud confirms, “all of our partners have recognized […]

France Announces Military Intervention in Mali

France, former colonial power of North Africa, has recently taken a vocal leadership role in the conflict in northern Mali. The Tuareg Rebellion in January of this year marked the commencement of violence and instability in the northern desert region of Mali.  The Tuaregs have historically been seen as protesters and separatists opposing the government.  […]