Jihad in the Sahara

Source: The Economist.

FOR half a year African governments in the region and various ones in the West, especially in France and the United States, had been fretting over Mali, where rebel groups tied to al-Qaeda had taken over the northern half of the country. Earlier this year matters dramatically worsened when the jihadists suddenly pushed south, threatening even Bamako, the capital.

So France’s President François Hollande decided to act. On January 11th French aircraft swooped in, bombarding the rebels and their bases. For the moment Bamako is safe. But the French president has given himself a daunting task. No one is sure of his campaign’s precise aim, nor how or when his forces will get out.

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