Françafrique: A Resurgent France Has a Responsibility to Keep House in Its Former Colonial Neighborhood

In the mid twentieth century, France’s colonial possessions in Africa encompassed enormous swathes of land, from Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia in the northwest to Madagascar in the southeast. Fifty-some years after the final dissolution of the French empire, France’s recent military incursions on the continent are sparking speculation of a French attempt to resurrect its […]

Hollande Opens Year with Promises of Tax Cuts, Redeployment from Mali

French President François Hollande has vowed to sharply cut French troop levels in Mali while tackling unemployment at home, as part of his package of New Years’ promises to the French people. Hollande promised on January 8 to reduce the number of French troops in Mali to 1,600 by mid-February. France currently has 2,500 soldiers […]

France Welcomes Hostages Home After Three-Year Wait

Four French citizens, held hostage in North Africa by Al-Qaeda for three years, returned to their families in an emotional reunion in Paris on Wednesday. President François Hollande greeted the four men — all of them bearded, careworn, and nervous, but otherwise not visibly harmed — on the tarmac. Long-separated friends and families tearfully embraced […]

Hollande Isolated on Syria While Domestic Opposition Grows Stronger

The French government is now moving to reenter the conversation on military intervention in Syria, after the focus had shifted to the United States and Russia after a bilateral agreement was reached on Syrian chemical weapons. The September 14 agreement represents a unified front from the two governments, whose recent discussions on Syria had been […]

Hollande Seeks to Rally Support at Press Conference

François Hollande, facing approval ratings of roughly 25%, the lowest of any French president over the past 50 years, and opposition from within his own party, tried to rally support in a press conference last Thursday, May 16. Since his election last year, Hollande’s poll ratings have steadily declined, apart from a brief boost following […]

Mali Extradites French Jihad Suspect

Alleged French jihadist Gilles Le Guen, also known by the nom de guerre Abdel Jelil, arrived in France on May 14 after his capture in northern Mali last month. According to Le Monde, Le Guen, a 58-year-old merchant navy veteran, was seized in a French special forces raid on the northern outskirts of Timbuktu, on […]

Transitioning from AFISMA to a United Nations Stabilization Operation MINUSMA

Thursday April 25, the Security Council of the United Nations unanimously approved a resolution put forward by the French government to bring in a UN peacekeeping force for Mali as of the July 1. Within the next 60 days the UN shall determine the area’s state of security is adequate to allow for their deployment […]

Violent Clashes and a New Successor in the Wake of Confirmation of Abou Zeid’s Death

Towards the end of February, covert operations in Mali’s northern mountains of Ifoghas resulted in the death of around forty terrorists. Rumors have been floating around the Internet about the identity of the bodies. While French authorities have been reluctant to confirm any of these rumors, a month after the attack Paris has finally confirmed […]

Mali Neverending: French Hostage Believed to be Executed by Al Qaeda

Families of French citizens held hostage in Africa are continuing to try to get as much information they can regarding the state of their loved ones. “No one tells us anything, [not] the French side, no one says anything, the jihadists do not speak anymore, that’s to say that we are totally in the dark, […]

Death of Islamist Militant Leader Mokhtar Belmokhtar Unconfirmed in Mali Attack

Following a joint attack by the Chadian and French armies in Adrar des Ifoghas in North Mali Saturday, March 2 2013, Mokhtar Belmokhtar was pronounced to be amongst those killed.  However, conflicting reports have kept the former Al-Qaeda leader’s death from being confirmed Sunday, March 3. These accounts come on the heels of a raid on […]