Old Wine in New Bottles? France’s Military Intervention in Mali
2013 03 20

By Benedikt Erforth and George Deffner | allAfrica


The discourse surrounding France’s interventions in Africa has changed, but have the underlying motivations?

France is at it again.

Less than two years after Franco-British-led air strikes helped topple Muammar Gaddafi’s regime in Libya in March 2011, and French troops made the arrest of the former Ivorian president Laurent Gbagbo possible in April 2011, the French army is once again intervening in Africa; this time, according to the official discourse, to fight terrorist and criminal groups in Mali who pose a menace to the integrity of a democratic country, the lives of about 5,000 French expatriates, and the security of both Africa and Europe.

France has a long history of military interventions in sub-Saharan Africa, which traditionally have served the safeguarding or installation of governments friendly to France, the protection of French economic interests, or boosted France’s role in the world.

In the period from 1960 to 2005, there have reportedly been 46 French military operations in Francophone Africa.

France, thanks heavily to Africa, has been able to maintain its status as an important player on the international scene. And although the old neo-colonial Françafrique system may be dead or dying, French foreign policy remains very much alive when it comes to Africa.

For the good of the world?

While there are strong elements of continuity regarding French military interventions in Africa, the justifications for entering into combat in the region have radically changed.

Since the Rwandan genocide in 1994 and the questionable role France played throughout the crisis, France’s perception of itself as the natural gendarme d’Afrique has become increasingly unpopular, and the official discourse has been strenuously trying to avoid any accusations that depict France as a neo-colonial power.

Being aware of the haunting errors of the past, French president François Hollande has made it clear that France has no other interests in Mali than rescuing a friendly state and no other objective than fighting terrorism, though the vicinity of Niger, the producer of a significant portion of the uranium used in France’s power plants, might still raise some eyebrows.

Accordingly, France’s official communication surrounding the military intervention in Mali has been following an extremely outward-oriented strategy aimed towards portraying France as a faithful servant to the international community.

This ’good global citizen’ dimension is underlined with references to France’s ongoing and fierce commitment to the fight against terrorism since the tragic attacks of 9/11.

[...]

Read the full article at: allafrica.com



Belgian MP LAURENT LOUIS stands against war in Mali and exposes the international neo-colonial plot



The partition of Africa at the Berlin Conference of 1884



Related Articles
R2P: Right to Penetrate?
Mali threatens to become another Afghanistan, Canada says
Support for Mali war shattering myth of a strong French left
Abandoned Munitions Endanger Lives in Mali


Latest News from our Front Page

Nearly 300 missing after South Korean ferry sinks
2014 04 16
A ferry carrying 462 people, mostly high school students on an overnight trip to a tourist island, sank off South Korea’s southern coast on Wednesday, leaving more than 280 people missing despite a frantic, hours-long rescue by dozens of ships and helicopters. At least four people were confirmed dead and 55 injured. The high number of people unaccounted for -- likely ...
Sweden’s submarine war against Germany – Rear-Admiral confesses to armed robbery
2014 04 15
On April 8, 2014, Swedish combat forces stormed the HQ of German submarine builder Thyssen’s offices in Sweden and walked away with blueprints for the next generation submarine A26. Immediately after the event, the head of security at Thyssen was fired. Aside one or two initial reports about what in effect was an armed robbery, a blanket of silence has been put ...
Black Ring Above England: New Evidence
2014 04 15
New explanations for the ’black ring’ as seen in England this week have been submitted by members since we highlighted the case. [Experts baffled after strange black ring appears in sky above England] As otherworldly a phenomenon it seems to be, it’s almost certainly due to very worldly reasons. Officials are still stumped as to the origin of the ring as recorded by ...
Sars Research Lab Loses 2,000 Tubes of Killer Virus
2014 04 15
A prestigious research institute in France said it had lost thousands of tubes of samples of the deadly Sars coronavirus. A routine inventory check at Paris’ Pasteur Institute revealed that 2,349 tubes containing fragments of the virus responsible for the deaths of 774 people in 2002 were missing, the centre named after French chemist Louis Pasteur said. The institute was quick to ...
10 odd facts about Abraham Lincoln’s assassination
2014 04 15
It was 149 years ago tonight the President Abraham Lincoln was shot while watching a play at Ford’s Theater. Lincoln died the next morning, and in the aftermath, some odd facts seemed to pop up. Why wasn’t General Ulysses S. Grant in the theater box with Lincoln, as scheduled? Where was the President’s bodyguard? How many people were targeted in ...
More News »