n Africa Conflict Monthly Monitor - France takes the lead in yet another Africa intervention - : Africa-wide - featured analysis

Volume 2013, Issue 03
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The French intervention in Mali on 11 January 2013 caught most everyone by surprise. After all, had French President François Hollande not repeatedly stressed that any resolution to the conflict plaguing the West African nation since January 2012 would avoid the deployment of French forces? Something caused a drastic change of heart at Les Elysées. The dizzying speed of the French response to Malian interim President Dioncounda Traoré's pleas for help - named Opération Serval - was certainly unexpected, and the world stood by in a mix of awe and perplexity as French airstrikes in Konna were reported the next day. After France's leading role in the 2011 intervention in Libya, and its actions in Ivory Coast that same year, however, the assertiveness of Hollande's decision Mali is perhaps more a continued trend than an anomaly.

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