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Analysis and Comment (8)

French soldiers guard the crash site of Air Algerie flight AH5017 near Goss in Mali. French soldiers guard the crash site of Air Algerie flight AH5017 near Goss in Mali. STR/EPA

As France mourns plane crash victims, Hollande consolidates military might in Africa

The wreckage of AH 5017 lies scattered in the Sahel near the border between Mali and Burkina Faso. As the black boxes of the Air Algérie flight head for France and Paris mediates the aftermath, the crash…
Iraqi forces have retaken Tikrit but now face a united enemy. Iraqi forces have retaken Tikrit but now face a united enemy. EPA/Alaa al-Shemaree

An ISIS caliphate is bad news for Iraq, Syria and everywhere else

After the death of Osama Bin Laden in May 2011, the global jihadist movement seemed to have become fragmented and considerably weakened. This happened for various reasons. First, the coincidence of the…
Is anyone really listening? Is anyone really listening? EPA/Dai Kurokawa

Boko Haram and the state of failure in Nigeria

Earlier this month, Nigeria marked a most unwelcome anniversary; a year of special measures in the three northern states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe. Located in the north east corner of the country, snug…
Get with it: AU chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma (left). Get with it: AU chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma (left). GovernmentZA

African Union falls behind the times as regional conflicts rage

When the South African president, Jacob Zuma, returned from the African Union summit last weekend, his press statement said almost nothing that could not have been written before he left. The summit decided…
Martin E Dempsey warns the fallout of the Arab Spring will take a long time to clear. Martin E Dempsey warns the fallout of the Arab Spring will take a long time to clear. Glenn Fawcett

Recovery from the Arab Spring will take a generation or more

At a meeting at the Wall Street Journal this week, Martin E Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, noted that the United States' ability to exercise influence in the Middle East had significantly…
Malian troops patrol the town of Diabaly in the country’s north. Malian troops patrol the town of Diabaly in the country’s north. AAP/Nic Bothma

Military intervention can be a cure worse than the disease

The new year is scarcely a month old. Yet we have seen enough to know that the fires raging in different parts of the Middle East and North Africa will not easily abate – and that the firefighting efforts…
Will history look kindly on the French intervention in Mali? Will history look kindly on the French intervention in Mali? EPA/Arnaud Roine

From Rwanda to Mali: France’s chequered history in Africa

Why the French intervention in Mali? Last week, French daily Le Monde asked this question of André Bourgeot, specialist on Sub-Saharan Africa with France’s National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS…
French soldiers gather on the tarmac of the military airbase in Bamako, Mali. French soldiers gather on the tarmac of the military airbase in Bamako, Mali. EPA/Arnaud Roine/ECPAD

French intervention won’t fix the mess in Mali

The French government has announced it will triple its troop deployment to the conflict-plagued state of Mali. On Monday, France’s ambassador to the United Nations, Gerard Araud, explained that France…