When French soldiers stormed into northern Mali in January 2013 to chase out militants aligned with Al Qaeda, Malians throughout the country stood to gain. The French, aided by the Chadian and Malian Armies, swiftly took back most of the territory controlled by the extremists. Their mission, Operation Serval, was held up as a rare example of a successful Western intervention against terrorist groups.
In February, the president of France, François Hollande, visited Timbuktu, an ancient center of Islamic education, and a boisterous crowd that had suffered nine months of brutal jihadi rule hailed him as a savior. Later, in Bamako, Mali’s capital, Mr.… Seguir leyendo »