The energy stakes in the Sahel surrounding the war in Mali

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As in many recent conflicts involving Western intervention in other countries, France’s decision to wage war against Islamist militants in Mali has been accused by some as furthering its energy interests and economic investments, a suggestion that President François Hollande has unequivocally denied. Mediapart’s international affairs specialist Thomas Cantaloube finds the truth lies in between as he examines here just what are France's interests in the region. While Mali has quasi-inexistent mineral or energy resources, in the wider Sahel area, comprising the north of Mali, the east of Mauretania, Niger and parts of Algeria and Libya, the energy issue is significant.

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As in many recent conflicts in which Western powers have intervened militarily in other countries, France has been accused by some observers of furthering its energy interests and economic investments in the Sahel through its war against Islamist militants in Mali that began on January 11th.