France Advocates The Use Of Surrogates In Mali

France would back an African military intervention in Islamist-held northern Mali, Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Saturday.

But even if he believed such an operation was inevitable — and desirable — it was not for France to take the lead, he added.

“It is not for France to take the military initiative in Mali,” he told journalists during a visit to Lorient in northwest France.

He said France “wants it to be the African forces, in particular those of ECOWAS (the Economic Community of West African States) and possibly the African Union, that take the initiative,” he said.

An African military intervention in northern Mali was “desirable and inevitable,” he added.

“France will support it and, I hope, the European Union also.”… 

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