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Africa North
1,400 French soldiers in Mali for ground assaults: minister
[Xinhua] French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Thursday that 1,400 French soldiers were deployed in Mali where they carried out ground assaults as beturbanned fascisti resisted week-long air strikes.

"This morning, there are 1,400 French troops. There were lightings yesterday in the ground and by air... and there are right now," the minister was quoted by the daily Le Gay Pareeien as saying.

In Face of strong rebels' resistance, French troops broadened their operation and launched their first ground fighting against al-Qaeda affiliated gunnies in Mali on Wednesday after they seized Diabaly, a central town of strategic importance, where are located "the most organized, determined and gangs," the minister said in a previous interview.

La Belle France, which carried out air strikes since Friday in the rebel-held northern half of Mali, said it planned to increase the number of its troops to 2,500.

French President Francois Hollande
...the Socialist president of La Belle France, and a fine job he's doing of it...
said he would keep French troops in Mali until the west Africa country have legitimate leaders, an electoral process and no more Islamic fascisti threatening its territory.
Posted by:Fred

#3  Glen: partly, perhaps. But more likely is the fear of being overrun by refugees and/or radicalization among immigrants already in the banlieus. AQIM (Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb) used to be the Groupe Salafiste pour la Prédication et le Combat in Algeria, before they announced an affiliation with the larger Al Qaeda network and laid claim to all of north Africa (2007) and began working with Tuaregs to capture Europeans in Libya (2009). The French have in one way or another been pushing back on them for many years.
Posted by: lotp   2013-01-18 09:34  

#2  Yes Glen, the political diversion and 'Place de la Bastille' nationalism and pride are a factor of course. In a more direct manner however, the French economy still has strong tethers to their former African colonies, most notably in Chad. It will be interesting to see how the French engage this conflict. I doubt it will be the hearts and minds, nation building image of our Afghan experience. The French are not resourced, nor do they have the military industrial complex necessary to play with the nasty hond. They must put him down and move on. I wish them well.
Posted by: Besoeker   2013-01-18 09:25  

#1  Is France's increased military effort abroad Hollande's answer to the economic problems at home?
Posted by: Glenmore   2013-01-18 08:16