According to diplomats familiar with the situation, French President Francois Hollande has been pushing the international community for an invasion of northern Mali as soon as possible, saying it is vital to French security to get troops on he ground in the area.
Hollande apparently believe that the situation in Azawad, the northern two thirds of the country which have been under de facto control of the militant Ansar Dine faction, poses a direct threat to French soil.
This appears to be a consensus among Western officials, who all assume that the situation in Azawad must eventually spill over into attacks elsewhere. So far, however, the militants inside Azawad show neither the inclination nor the capability to move out of the impoverished desert region.
If anything the impending international invasion may only worsen the situation, as Ansar Dine seems to have limited support on the ground in the major towns, and could really use the mantle of resistance against foreign occupation to justify its violent nature.