February 10, 2013

War Won't Cure Mali's Ills

Mark Quarterman, RealClearWorld

AP Photo

France's military intervention in Mali, its former colony, to root out an Islamist militant rebel group in the country's north has been compelling, capturing headlines around the world. But what has happened in Mali in recent years is common to conflicts across the African continent. The same sad pattern is replicated in the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Somalia and Sudan. Rebel groups, which often have external support, find fertile ground in situations of poor to non-existent governance, poverty and a lack of effective representation of all of a country's people. This has led to violent conflicts in which civilians pay the heaviest price.

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TAGGED: France, Tuareg, Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, Africa

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