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 Backs Niger in Hostage Raid Friday

On Friday May 24, 2013, French Special Forces aided Nigerien troops in an operation that raided an army base in northern Niger. The collaborative effort ended a hostage situation following an attack on the army base by extremists on Thursday. Two Nigerien cadets were taken hostage within the base. The aggressors had barricaded themselves in […]

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 […]