Tag Archives | Mali

France in Mali: myths and realities

The French intervention in Mali in 2013 was portrayed by many commentators at the time as another manifestation of la Françafrique. Tony Chafer argues that framing the intervention in this way is both problematic and misleading. Tony Chafer is Professor of Contemporary French Area Studies and Director of the Centre for European and International Studies Research at the University of Portsmouth. His main research interests lie in French African policy in the colonial and post-colonial periods, French military and security policy in Africa and EU security policy in Africa. He is a Research Associate of the Institute of Commonwealth Studies and acts as a consultant to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office on French African policy.   Since the 1990s, la Françafrique has become shorthand for a neo-colonial relationship rooted in illicit and often criminal practices designed to maintain France’s ex-colonies in a relationship of dependency with the former metropole. Underpinning this relationship, it is argued, there exists a range of official links that have bound, and in many ways continue to bind, France to its former colonies in sub-Saharan Africa. These include defence and military assistance, economic aid, political, business and cultural links, and the maintenance of a common currency zone, alongside a […]

Continue Reading 1

Mali. The normalization of German security policy?

Germany’s recent decision to deploy soldiers in Mali is new in the course of its history. Indeed, so far Germany was reluctant to engage with security policy in Africa. Matthias Vogl analyses the reasons for this change of policy and its implications for both the European Union and the African continent. After completing his PhD on European security policy in Africa, Matthias Vogl is now research fellow at the Center for European Integration Studies (ZEI) at the University of Bonn. His research focuses on the comparative approach of regional integration between European Union and West Africa. There was recently a news report about the deployment of a German contingent of up to 650 soldiers – among them reconnaissance forces – to Mali within the framework of the UN Mission MINUSMA. This contingent is about to replace Dutch forces during the next few months. Given the widely known German reluctance to send soldiers into risky scenarios in Africa, one could ask if this attitude is changing now, as MINUSMA is dubbed one of the most dangerous UN missions worldwide. Is German military engagement in Africa, apart from training and logistics, becoming something normal? No doubt, with the ambitious speeches of German […]

Continue Reading 1