To foster long-term stability in Mali, the international community must not content itself with the implementation of technicalities.
France’s new president Emmanuel Macron sought to send a clear message with his arrival in Mali on Friday, on his first official voyage as chief of state. In visiting Gao, the main base of the Sahel-wide Operation Barkhane and the largest French operational base abroad, Macron no doubt intended to show his support for French soldiers and continue his forceful stance against terrorist groups – whether in France, in the Levant, or in this case in the Sahel.
As RFI noted, Macron’s agenda had three components: an increased mobilization of Barkhane forces in northern Mali, an accelerated effort to apply the June 2015 Algiers Accords meant to settle the conflict unleashed by the 2012 Tuareg rebellion, and deepened efforts to support the G5 Sahel, the grouping of five Sahelian countries that includes Mali and is intended to spur security and development cooperation in the region.
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