Mali’s fire still smoulders despite French intervention

Malian soldiers patrol the market in Gao, once a stronghold of al-Qaeda-linked Islamists (photo: dpa)
Malian soldiers patrol the market in Gao, once a stronghold of al-Qaeda-linked Islamists (photo: dpa)

The Islamist and Tuareg forces which disrupted Mali have been driven into neighbouring countries, but their networks have not been wiped out. With elections only weeks away – in theory - there are still major questions to be answered, such as what is the basis of keeping the peace and who will enforce it? And could tribal leaders be the key to reconciling Mali’s north-south divide?

WHILE the armed conflict in Mali has been won on the ground, particularly through the intervention of the French military, the political situation remains bleak.

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The legislative and presidential elections are scheduled for July 2013, on paper at least. H...

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