Suicide Bombing and Military Mutiny Strike Mali as France Renews Commitment to Leave

28c0credit africa talks Suicide Bombing and Military Mutiny Strike Mali as France Renews Commitment to Leave

Credit: Africa TalksYesterday, French officials renewed their
commitment to withdrawing French troops from Mali
within weeks. Since that announcement a number of developments
have revealed what sort of violence and instability we should
continue to expect should in France’s former colony.Today, the first suicide
bombing of the Malian conflict was reported in the city of Gao.
A group linked to Al Qaeda has claimed responsibility for the
attack, which killed the attacker and injured one bystander. That
Islamic militants are changing tactics
should not come as a surprise. The fact that Islamic militants
have been pushed backed by the French-led intervention does not
mean that the conflict is over. In the coming weeks it is likely
that Islamic militants will use tactics that will demoralize the
local population and pose a danger to the better-equipped French
and Malian militaries.As the Islamic militants continue their changing campaign
against French and Malian forces they will be doing so thanks in
part to French funds. A former
U.S. ambassador to Mali revealed that some of the Islamic
militants that the French are fighting received support from the
French for years thanks to ransoms paid by the French government in
one of the best recent examples of why a policy of not negotiating
with terrorists is worth pursuing.In Bamako,
gunfire broke out as Malian troops tried to suppress mutinous
paratroops loyal to deposed president Touré who don’t want to be
redeployed. There have been concerns that the Malian military is
too ill disciplined too take over from the French. The recent
firefight in Bamako is the latest evidence that these concerns are
well founded.The French are now in the unfortunate situation that many
intervening military forces face after initial victories. To leave
soon would leave Mali in the hands of a military that is not
prepared to fight against Islamic militants. In addition, to leave
within a matter of weeks would almost certainly end up violating
French government’s commitment to staying in Mali until
political stability is achieved. On the other hand, to stay would
commit France to a guerrilla war without well-defined victory
conditions in partnership with an unprepared and unpredictable
Malian army. 

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Suicide Bombing and Military Mutiny Strike Mali as France Renews Commitment to Leave

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