Ekaterina Migol's Blog

What is the real cause of Malian conflict?

February 12, 2013

Gay marriages legalization, implementation of 75% tax are not the only reasons why the name of new French president Francois Hollande lately appears so often in the top lines of the magazines. Mr Hollande has proved himself to be not only an ardent fighter for the rights of homosexuals but seems like he is also trying to rehabilitate himself in terms of international politics. Right after his success at the elections in May 2012 he was heavily criticized for failing to organize an international intervention into Libya even without a Security Council mandate. Perhaps France’s intervention in Mali in January 2013 is another chance for Hollande to show himself as a strong  leader who is able to control international political crises.


But why Mali? Mali is just another classical example of a country in African region that has been in a situation of civil war since it got its independence during the process of decolonization in the 1960s. And the 2012/2013 rebellion of the Malian Islamic North is only the latest in the whole series of the armed conflicts that has been occurring since the 1963 between the “Islamic” North and “democratic” South. With the only difference that this time the rebels are more seriously armed than previous times. Why? Where does these weapons come from? Malian rebels get their arms from Libya; they get their support from those who  were fighting against the overthrown Qaddafi government. Ironically, today France is helping the Malian government to fight with the Islamic terrorists but in fact France itself was one of the reasons why Malian rebels became so strong that the local government could not handle this conflict on its own. As it was France who, in cooperation with the US and Britain, toppled Qaddafi regime in Libya.


But can we really expect that French invasion will help to solve the conflict in Mali? In short-term French forces probably will succeed in destroying radically oriented military groups and probably will bring together Malian government and the rest of Northern Islamic opposition. Possibly the two sides will even sign another agreement that will guarantee a certain autonomy to the Northern region and in return the opposition will stop supporting rebels.  But does this solve the African crisis globally?


It is obvious that Malian conflict constitutes only a small part of modern African crises. Pandora’s box has been opened long time ago and for today there is no single solution from the Western community how to close it. At the same time it is getting more and more clear that military invasions initiated by the Western countries can only ease the tension on the conflict territory but they are not solving the problem globally. How the Western society can get out from this dead end? The question remains open, and is likely to stay open forever, since there are too many groups which benefit from the present chaos.

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