Mali…a couple of updates

France has since long preferred to use state resources for their economic interests and so it is not surprising that instead of calling upon private military firms as most American and British mining companies do in Africa, the extraction sites of the French company Avera in Niger will be protected by French special forces, as reports the Journal du Siecle.

 

A lot of questions are asked with respect to Qatari involvment in Northern Mali. Following an article in the French journal “Le canard enchainé” which is a satiric as well as an investigative weekly newspaper (which does not put its articles online so I can only link up to reports about their report), a number of observers are wondering not only if and how deeply Qatar is involved in financing various groups in Northern Mali but also why. Highly interesting, yet little discussed is the question of the arrangement between France and the Qatar if the latter indeed is active in Norther Mali. Given that Qatari activities in Libya and Syria have been seen rather favourably, that French president Hollande just returned from a visit joined by the biggest French companies to other Gulf states with which he has quickly restablished good relations after a couple of naughty comments during his electoral campaign, that anyway Gulf states seem to be allowed to do whatever they want if it’s only securing Western oil interests and is somehow hostile to Iran, it appears unlikely that there would be a major confrontation between the two.

 

The strategy of the US to get the UN involved seems to work also well for France. The recipe is simple: first get a sufficiently vaguely formulated resolution which you, the state which wants to intervene, can interpret as authorization to use force; send troops which are sufficiently strong to  stirr up a lot of dust but not strong enough to finish this off quickly (if this would ever be possible with assymmetric wars, yet strong beliefs die hard); then call in the UN. If that does not work, call your friends for help.

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