Keyword: Mali

France pays tribute to 13 soldiers killed in Mali

Members of the public joined with military personnel to pay homage in Paris on Monday to 13 French soldiers killed in Mali when their helicopters collided while on a night-time mission to track down Islamist fighters early last week. 

How France's narrow focus on a military solution in Mali has led to stalemate in region

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A French soldier at Gao in Mali deep in reflection in front of the coffins of the 13 French troops killed in the country on November 25th 2019. © Reuters A French soldier at Gao in Mali deep in reflection in front of the coffins of the 13 French troops killed in the country on November 25th 2019. © Reuters

On Monday November 25th 13 members of the French military were killed when two helicopters crashed in Mali during France's ongoing military operations there. The grim news sparked debates back in France about the country's military involvement in the Sahel region of Africa. But as Mediapart's René Backmann writes, the legacy of France's colonial past and the remnants of its post-colonial approach to the continent known as 'Françafrique' suggest that President Emmanuel Macron's government will be unable to see that military combat against jihadism is not the only response that is needed to tackle the region's instability.

Why France is focused on fighting jihadists in Mali

Armed forces minister Florence Parly has called on fellow EU governments to despatch special forces to the Sahel, to help curb militant attacks that have killed more than 100 Malian troops in recent weeks.

Thirteen French troops killed in helicopter crash in Mali

French president Emmanuel Macron expressed his 'deep sadness' over incident, which is believed to be biggest single loss of life for French military since the 1980s.

 

Thirteen French troops killed in helicopter crash in Mali

French president Emmanuel Macron expressed his 'deep sadness' over incident, which is believed to be biggest single loss of life for French military since the 1980s.

 

French soldier killed in Mali by roadside bomb

Corporal Ronan Pointeau died near Menaka in eastern Mali after his armoured vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb.

How Mali's wanted jihadists are escaping justice

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“Sharia Square”in Gao, seen here in February 2013, where the occupying jihadists in 2012 carried out amputations in public. © Reuters “Sharia Square”in Gao, seen here in February 2013, where the occupying jihadists in 2012 carried out amputations in public. © Reuters

Since France’s military intervention in Mali in 2013 put an end to an offensive by Islamic extremists occupying the north of the country, and despite the subsequent UN peacekeeping mission to help stabilize the former French colony, it remains blighted by insecurity. Amid the continuing tensions, the government stands accused of a strategy of clemency towards senior jihadists who led a reign of terror during their occupation of the north. The vast majority of them have been allowed to escape justice, while the few who were placed in jail have been discretely freed, apparently in prisoner exchange deals. Rémi Carayol reports.

French PM urges support from allies on Sahel counter-insurgency

During a visit on Sunday to the Mali HQ of French military operations against jihadist insurgents in the Sahel, French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe said 'durable stabilisation' in the region could not be assured without 'the backing of others'.

From Guinea to Bayonne: the long journey of two youths seeking France's protection

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Authorities in the French city of Bayonne are struggling to cope with the number of migrants coming from across the nearby Spanish border. Mediapart met Joseph and Moriba, 'blood  brothers' who are seeking France's protection after nearly dying at sea crossing to Europe from Morocco. After a legal battle, Joseph has now been recognised as a minor by the French courts while Moriba's request will be heard on appeal shortly. Mathilde Mathieu reports.

France proposes UN sanctions for groups delaying Mali peace deal

French official has already submitted names of individuals to UN Security Council committee set up last year to deal with Mali sanctions.

How the fall of Gaddafi destabilised Mali

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Security checks as voters line up in Mali's capital Bamako on Sunday. © Reuters Security checks as voters line up in Mali's capital Bamako on Sunday. © Reuters

The first round of presidential elections was held last Sunday in Mali, the former French colony in West Africa which has become a key centre of the battle, led by France, against jihadist groups operating in the Sahel. Outgoing president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, 73, hoping for re-election, is roundly attacked by his rivals for having failed to bring security to the country, despite France’s military intervention against jihadists in 2013 and the continued presence of thousands of UN peacekeepers. In this analysis of the enduring instability in Mali, Rémi Carayol details how it was fuelled by the toppling of the Gaddafi regime in Libya.

'Hero' Malian migrant saves child from Paris balcony

In a rescue captured on video, Mamoudou Gassama scaled a building in Paris to save a four-year-old child hanging from a fourth-floor balcony.

Slow progress in probe into murder of French journalists in Mali

French judge visited Mali to investigate 2013 deaths of Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon but could not visit Kidal, scene of the murders.

Two French soldiers killed in Mali in bombing of their armoured vehicle

The two soldiers, taking part in France's Operation Barkhane in the West African country where it has deployed about 4,000 troops to contain jihadist groups operating in the region, died after their armoured vehicle ran over an explosive device near the town of Gao. 

Old habits die hard: Macron seeks end to traditional French approach to Africa

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Emmanuel Macron speaking at the University of Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso on Tuesday November 28th, 2017. © Reuters Emmanuel Macron speaking at the University of Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso on Tuesday November 28th, 2017. © Reuters

On his first tour of Africa last week President Emmanuel Macron vowed to do away with France's old and discredited approach to the continent. Addressing 800 students in the Burkina Faso capital of Ouagadougou, the French head of state certainly struck a fresh tone, talked of new projects and themes and signalled the passing of an old generation. But as Mediapart's editor François Bonnet reports, the old and serious problems confronting France in its relations with Africa have not gone away.