The fighting in Mali seems to be on the wane. The Islamists who threatened France by promising to turn Mali into a French graveyard are nowhere to be seen. Either they are melted away into the Sahara sands to fight another day or have just given up on the formidable task of fighting the top class French military force.
This is France's third major foreign intervention in the last few years. Earlier the French were there in Libya and Côte d’Ivoire. In the case of Mali, France is seriously worried that West Africa may turn into an 'Afrighanistan', a kind of homeground of Islamists.
The Economist lends some insight on the situation in Mali and what the current turn of events could mean for all involved - Mali, France, and the Islamists.
Here's an excerpt:
Mali’s loose mix of jihadist and Tuareg rebel groups has dispersed. The lighter-skinned ones and ethnic Arabs tended to go north into the desert; the dark-skinned ones fled south to the arid farmlands.
They are less united than before. The aim of the French and their Malian allies is to separate the religious zealots, hailing mainly from Algeria and beyond, from native Malians and the less fanatical rebels.Read the whole thing here.