On his plane from Paris to Abu Dhabi, François Hollande was confident that the decision he took on Friday, to military intervene in Mali, was an indispensable one. The French forces that started out as 1,500 troops, have prevented Mali from falling into the hands of terrorists from the Sahel region. Their aim is who to turn the French ally into a safe-haven for terror and use it to prepare terrorist attacks against French interests in Africa and the European nation itself.
François Hollande told the journalists who accompanied him on the trip to Abu Dhabi – among which was al-Hayat newspaper’s correspondent – that he took the decision on Friday, and not before. He added that he called the Algerian President, Abdel-Aziz Bouteflika, who informed Hollande that he had closed the borders and given permission for flights over Algerian airspace. Hollande also called Morocco’s King Mohammed VI and discussed the Malian issue in his meetings with leaders in the UAE, mainly in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
France’s political opposition and the media supported Hollande’s decision, although there are eight French hostages being held by jihadists in the Sahel region. The legitimacy of the French move is bolstered by Mali’s request for French intervention, and the green light that was given by the United Nations Security Council.
What is disappointing, is to see this war in Africa rule out any possibility of another foreign intervention to save the Syrian people from their own regime. The Security Council is helpless in Syria, and the USA is not trying to help eitherRanda Takieddine
Hollande is aware of the dangers of this war, and the possibility that there will be casualties, as well as the probability that the hostages may be killed. However, the operation was deemed necessary because the progress of jihadists in the Sahel would have toppled the regime in Bamako, where there is a French community of 6,000 people. The military operation is complicated and difficult, because the jihadists are using non-traditional means of warfare, namely terror methods; this is frightening. Hollande knows this and he has taken a courageous decision despite the risk and deteriorating conditions. His decision is better than seeing France’s neighbors remain a haven for terrorist jihadists controlling a weak country like Mali. Hollande’s choice to intervene has also elevated him in the eyes of the public that has been, since the beginning of his presidency, criticizing and blaming him for a perceived lack of decisiveness when it comes to government actions. With this move, the French president exposed a his decision making authority surprising many of his critics.