The Secret Wars of Africa’s Sahel,

Ramzy Baroud, journalist and Editor

However, the story has less to do with Islamist militancy and much to do with foreign interventions. Anti-French sentiment in Mali goes back over a century when, in 1892, France colonised that once-thriving African kingdom, exploiting its resources and reordering its territories as a way to weaken its population and to break down its social structures.

The formal end of French colonialism of Mali in 1960 was merely the end of a chapter, but definitely not the story itself. France remained present in Mali, in the Sahel and throughout Africa, defending its interests and working jointly with local elites to maintain its dominance. […]

To appreciate this claim more fully, one only needs a single example of how Mali’s wealth of natural resources is central to France’s economy. “An incredible 75 per cent of France’s electric power is generated by nuclear plants that are mostly fuelled by uranium extracted on Mali’s border region of Kidal.”

Therefore, it is unsurprising that France was ready to go to war as soon as militants proclaimed the Kidal region to be part of their independent nation-state of Azawad in April 2012.

As for the bombing, the French military denied any wrongdoing, claiming that all of the victims were ‘jihadists’. The story is meant to end here, but it will not — as long as Mali is exploited by outsiders, as long as poverty and inequality will continue to exist. Läs artikel