July 28, 2017
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Failed intervention
Mali crisis and growth of Al Qaeda Mali is becoming Africa’s Afghanistan as Islamic terrorists find it easy to operate and get cheap recruits to carry out the conflict in a manner which is unknown to most professional militaries who go by traditional rules of engagements in a combat situation. The conflict in the West African nation of Mali, a former French colony with a majority-Muslim population, came to sudden prominence in the West when France intervened at the request of Malian authorities. But the country and its complex dynamics have been scrutinized by scholars for many years. Behind the recent fighting are nuanced factors that have deep roots in the nation’s history, as well as regional forces that have negatively affected the nation. As a 2013 Congressional Research Service (CRS) report notes, “Mali’s instability stems from both internal and external factors. These include poor governance, the corrosive impact of drug trafficking and other illicit commerce, military fragmentation and collapse, limited implementation of previous peace accords with Tuareg rebel groups, and an uptick in regional arms and combatant flows from Libya since 2011.” Despite a relatively small population-15.8 million-the country occupies a vast, landlocked area, with a huge northern region. Prior to a 2012 coup and the neighboring Libyan conflict, Mali had seen reasonably strong economic growth in the past few years, and there have been po
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