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French operation in Mali: a commitment of tough continuity

(BRUSSELS2, comment) There is a change in tone and political rhythm. Operations are announced without too much fanfare, with less fanfare and more quietly. Probably in a more concerted manner. But the continuity of French power in military matters and external intervention is striking.

François Hollande's France intervenes in the Central African Republic first of all to secure the nationals but also to mark a presence alongside – or rather alongside the official power. Like Nicolas Sarkozy's France intervened in 2008 alongside the Chadian power. F. Hollande's France intervenes today in Mali in a conflict, "solo" - in an certainly marked international framework - a bit like Nicolas Sarkozy's France intervened in Ivory Coast (but there was a UN force present). And the consensus exists at the national level. The parliamentary right approves this intervention.

This “Serval” operation presents a real military risk. Because the rebels are putting up real resistance (a French soldier has already paid with his life) and because the conflict can last. But it is also a real political bet. It is a question of exerting influence on the international and African scene to force the various partners – European Union on the one hand, ECOWAS on the other – to accelerate the decision to intervene. A bet which, if it is won, could notably install the government of F. Hollande which, until now, lacked a certain international stature, in the game of the great powers. …

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).

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