France and United States put pressure on Algeria to back a military intervention in Mali 2910121

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Defense News - Mali

 
 
Monday, October 29, 2012, 07:16 AM
 
France and United States put pressure on Algeria to back a military intervention in Mali.
France and the United States are stepping pressure on Algeria to back a military intervention in Mali, where Islamist fighters have taken control off the northern region. "An intervention in northern Mali is possible without the military backing of Algeria but not without its green light," Pierre Boilley, the head of the Centre of African Studies, a French think-tank, said on Sunday, October 29, 2012.
     
France and the United States are stepping pressure on Algeria to back a military intervention in Mali, where Islamist fighters have taken control off the northern region. "An intervention in northern Mali is possible without the military backing of Algeria but not without its green light," Pierre Boilley, the head of the Centre of African Studies, a French think-tank, said on Sunday, October 29, 2012.
Fighters from the Al Qaeda-linked Islamist group MUJWA stand guard in northern Mali. Rebel fighters have taken control of the strategic town of Douentza.

     

Algeria is the region's biggest military power by some margin and has been dealing with northern Mali's top Islamist leaders - most of them are Algerian - for years.

US officials on Sunday also called on greater regional involvement.

"We encourage greater cooperation with the regional states in dealing with terrorist threat," Johnnie Carson, Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of African Affairs, told the AFP news agency.

"We encourage collaboration, communication with the notion that terrorists don't recognise international boundaries... That is the key to success".

"Many countries in the region such as Algeria and several analysts think that negotiations are possible with Ansar Dine. Let us see," Jean Felix-Paganon, France's envoy to the Sahel, told Jeune Afrique weeky.

French officials discussed the crisis that split Mali in two since March during a visit by Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius in July and Mali will again top the agenda when US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton meets President Abdelaziz Bouteflika in Algiers on Tuesday.

French President Francois Hollande is also expected there in December.

Once considered one of Africa's most promising democracies, Mali has slid into chaos this year.

 

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