Officials Back Off Pledges to Destroy All Rebels in Mali
Only eight days ago French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian was promising to continue the French invasion of Mali at all costs under all resistance was wiped out, terming his goal a “total reconquest” of Mali.
Today, French President Francois Hollande suggested that the French role in the war as the lead invasion forces are virtually over, saying it was time the “Africans can take over.”
Officially, French officials are treating this as victory, with Le Drian saying that the military’s goal of seizing control of population centers in the north has been met, even though troops have gone no further north than Timbuktu and nearly 2/3 of the nation remains rebel-held.
In practice this change comes as France is facing criticism for its civilian killings and as officials have conceded the fight is tougher than anticipated. This suggests that France is rethinking a war they figured would be a sweeping victory in a matter of weeks and is backing away from the pledge to turn Mali into a terror-free democracy as a practical matter.
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
- 27 Civilians Killed in Overnight Airstrike on Aleppo Hospital - April 28th, 2016
- Kerry: 'I Have Deep Reservations About an All-Volunteer Military' - April 27th, 2016
- Iran President: US Supreme Court Ruling 'Flagrant Theft' - April 27th, 2016
- Kurds, Shi'ite Militias Agree to Withdraw From Northern Iraq Town - April 27th, 2016
- Russia Urges UN Security Council to Blacklist Syrian Islamist Groups - April 27th, 2016