Olivier Bucyana over at The Africanist provides his analysis on French intervention in Mali, the modalities of an African response and the ‘what next?’ for the country.

The Africanist

  • French Interventions in Africa

Described as France’s “exclusive sphere of influence” or “pré-carré”, we still find today the French military across Africa, mainly in Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire, Gabon, the Central African Republic, Chad and Djibouti. With its multiple interventions in African countries, France’s role in postcolonial African affairs has shaped the destiny of many of its former colonies.

Military interventions date back to the decolonization era and have changed throughout time, depending on the context, however, they have remained in the form of political and strategic interventions. For instance, the interventions in Gabon and “Biafra” in the 1960s could both fall into the category of political interventions. In the case of Gabon, the French military intervention reinstated Leon M’ba in power, after a successful coup had taken place a few days earlier. Such an intervention showed that “a move against a leader closely aligned with Paris might invite intervention” mainly…

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