The biggest question regarding Mali Crisis is whether the crisis was a conflict by design or not?
Analysis and interpretations about the subject can be grouped into two main viewpoints: On the one hand, France’s act is evaluated as a continuation of colonialism and it is claimed that the Mali problem is a “crisis by design” representing Western geopolitical interests in the region. On the other hand, especially Western media prefer to elaborate the case under the subject of “Al-Qaeda related Jihadists and Islamic Extremism”.
None of these perspectives can fully grasp the whole picture alone. It is true that the northern parts of Mali are not under full control of the central government and that the region has a potential to become the center for some illegal organizations. In other words, northern Mali, controlled by Taureg rebels, is a potential source of instability for Mali, neighboring countries and even Europe. Smuggling and drug, human and arms trafficking is believed to be common in the region. During the chaos and uncertainty in Libya which led to the crumbling of the Gaddafi regime, some of his weapon is considered to be transferred into Mali by Toureg rebels. This makes the problem even more complex.
At the same time, however, one can surely say that the move by France will definitely increase the country’s influence in the region. Support of the Algerian government to French military initiative is one of the most evident examples in this occasion. France wouldn’t take a unilateral step if it did not have a geopolitical interest in the region. We should also remember that legality of the French military operation in Mali is questioned in international community.
Europe is struggling with an economic crisis; countries like China and Russia are becoming increasingly powerful, the European continent (in part or as whole) has not been a determinative global super power in global matters… And Africa is the future. Africa will be the battleground of super powers in this century.
Do you really think that French came to Mali for searching and toppling some Islamic militants in Sahara Desert?