France Invading Mali
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January 16, 2013 - 12:01pm
Written by Hilary Barnes
Reluctantly to war It is a fair assumption that the last thing that France's President Francoise Hollande would have wished for was to become involved in fighting a war in Africa, but the southward advance of Islamic jihadists in Mali, determined to gain control of the capital, Bamako, left him with little choice.
The immediate, stated aims of France's intervention are three - to stop the jihadist advance (in which success seems to have been achieved so far) ; to prevent the complete collapse of Mali's state institutions ; and to protect French and European nationals in Mali.
The broader purpose is to prevent the Islamist radicals from turning Mali into a theocratic state and a centre for exporting terrorist operations to its neighbours in West and North Africa and Europe, an African equivalent of Afghanistan.
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