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(en) France, UCL AL #313 - International, Echoes of Africa: The French army non grata in Mali (ca, de, it, fr, pt)[machine translation]

Date Thu, 4 Mar 2021 09:46:53 +0200


Engaged since 2014 (2013 for Serval) in a war against Islamic terrorism in the Sahel, France and its Operation Barkhane seem today more than ever enmeshed in a macabre and insoluble quagmire by military means. ---- However, Operation Barkhane regularly announces dozens of "neutralized terrorists", including several leaders, and the pace has accelerated further in recent months. But jihadist groups are still recruiting as much, if not more, than the losses inflicted by France and its allies. ---- Indeed, for local populations, the reasons for joining jihadist groups are not primarily religious or political, but linked to a strong feeling of injustice: social relegation, discrimination, conflicts over poorly managed resources, search for protectors. armed ...
To this can be added the effects of the war: on the one hand, the atrocities of the allied armies of France "are currently the main engine of radicalization or rallying for the protection of jihadist groups in central Mali or the Sahel. burkinabé"as indicated in a report from the French Institute of International Relations (IFRI) in November 2019.

On the other hand, the jihadists killed by France and its allies are mostly locals, whose bereaved families are not ready to support this colonial army whose presence does not resolve any of their concerns; and, on the contrary, contributes to growing insecurity. Without counting the civilian victims.

Thus, at the beginning of January, a raid carried out on Bounti by Barkhane and the G5 Sahel (the allied African armies) is accused of having killed civilians gathered for a wedding. Accusations denied by the minister of slums, Florence Parly, who obviously speaks of "rumors playing into the hands of terrorists!"Rumor or not, the deaths of this war are all arguments of rejection of Barkhane and France by the local population.

In southern Mali, far from the fighting, many hold their resentment against France for allowing the MNLA (Tuareg independence group) to regain control of Kidal in 2013. The presence of the French army is increasingly contested in Mali as in Burkina Faso, now impacted by this war.

Training of the Malian Armed Forces by French soldiers from Barkhane.
cc French Ministry of Defense.
Indeed, everyone notes bitterly that military action has not solved anything for seven years. Not to mention, of course, the growing awareness of the persistence of colonial logics, and therefore of anti-colonialist speeches and actions.

If France today plans to withdraw very partially, it is more by economic and political calculation with the approach of the presidential elections than by questioning the merits of its presence and its intervention. As for solving the basic problems (social, democratic, economic) which serve as breeding ground for the jihadists, this does not seem a priority either for France or for the powers in place.

Christmas Surge

https://www.unioncommunistelibertaire.org/?Echos-d-Afrique-L-armee-francaise-non-grata-au-Mali
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