CGD in the News

French President Francois Holland Faces a Potential Mali Quagmire (Global Post)

January 16, 2013

Senior Fellow and Vice President for Programs Todd Moss is quoted in an article on intervention in Mali by the Global Post.

From the article:

NAIROBI, Kenya — Today, as French special forces fight Mali’s Islamist rebels in the streets of Diabaly, President Francois Hollande’s hopes for a quick win are fading.

The reality of a formidable enemy and unprepared allies make it likely that France will be involved in a conflict for months to come.


In Mali, the French presence may help stabilize Mali’s chaotic politics, which have been in near permanent crisis lately. In March 2012, angry soldiers overthrew the government after being humiliated by a Tuareg rebellion that was then hijacked by Islamist fighters.

Since then, coup leader Captain Amadou Sanogo has played a malign role, sending his heavies to beat up President Traore and forcing the resignation of Prime Minister Cheikh Mobido Diarra last month.

Sanogo’s vocal opposition to any foreign intervention has been silenced by the French offensive, which has proven incredibly popular on the streets.

Many of the French soldiers will be posted in Bamako “with the express purpose of protecting the city, protecting French citizens and protecting the government from the junta,” according to Dakar-based analyst Andrew Lebovich.

That could allow the formation of an effective government no longer cowed by Sanogo and his cohorts, something Todd Moss, senior fellow at the Center for Global Development, says is essential. “The politics are the exit plan, there is no exit for anyone without a political solution.”

Read it here.

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