VOMENA Oct 27 2021- How the crisis in Mali is affecting the Maghreb and France


Manage episode 305641977 series 2566316
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For most of a century, the region including north Africa and large swaths of west Africa all came under one and the same flag: the red white and blue of the French colonial empire. Following the loss of Louisiana in the early nineteenth century, which at the time encompassed about one third of what we know today as the United States of America, and partly to compensate for that tremendous loss, France began colonizing large swaths of North and West and central Africa, bringing under its rule close to a third of the continent’s total area. Two hundred years later, and more than half-a-centruy after its former colonies regained their independence, France is struggling to deal with its problematic legacy in that part of the world, finding itself embroiled once again in a bloody conflict six thousand kilometers from home that shows no signs of resolving itself. Operation Barkhane, launched in 2014 by then-president Francois Hollande ostensibly to restore order in Mali and protect France from the consequences of out-of-control terrorism south of the border has become a major strategic embarrassment for the once undisputed master of that land and is proving a costly challenge to a now mid-size world power that is no longer able to spread its wings as far as it once did. Against that backdrop, locally, the Malian state has to date proven incapable of asserting its authority over large areas of its own territory and this power vacuum has caused serious problems for Mali’s neighbors, including its neighbors to the north, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia and Libya, and turning the area known as the Sahel into an incubator for terrorist and insurrectionist movements of all stripes. Today, we talk to professor Bruno Charbonneau at the Royal Military College Saint-Jean about the recent developments in Mali and how this thorny situation is affecting the Maghreb, France and neighboring areas of West Africa.

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