«François Hollande, le malien» the title of a a Malian media just after the French action in Mali was explicit. But since then ,the French troops have captured several key cities under the hold of islamists armed groups. François Hollande came in Tumbuktu to celebrate victory but in several african media, the main question is: what’s next?
There are two attitudes. Either thrilling and enthusiastic titles about the «Hero», François Hollande or a careful and neutral tone from the African media. For the Malian newspaper, l’Essor, he is an «icon» of the «liberty» as the President made a tour on the 1st of February in Mali.
The Burkinabe daily newspaper Le Pays even grades the President 10/10 to pay tribute to his action. In the Malian daily newspaper Le républicain, one journalist speaks about an «African France more african than ever». But after the feverish party comes the questions. And other African media follow with attention the military moves in the area.
Sahara media for instance, based in Mauritania, questions the real retreat of islamists. According to the news media, the MNLA has taken back the control of Ménaka city. It was approved by the French forces who hope to rely on the movement in order to hunt the islamists before they cross the border with Algeria. For the negociations, Paris and Bamako hope the MNLA will give up its aspiration for independence.
French President visit to Mali
And in Jeune Afrique, the declarations of Laurent Fabius, French Foreign Affairs Ministry who said the French troops would probaby start to withdraw in March. But it’ won’t be without a training process of the Malian army for the Malian soldiers under the care of European Union. So France and its soldiers could stay during this mission for an undetermined period in Mali.
Mali’s war is not over. Al Jazeera footage
So after the enthusiasm, African media show that the war is not finished and try to analyse what is going to happen next. An interesting piece of news is brought by the radio Cameroon voices about the strategy of militarisation in Mali. The article comes back on the agreement between Niger and The United States on the 29 th of January to establish a military base just near the Mali border, in Niger. For the African radio, it is a sign that war against terrorism is not over in this area and West Africa could become more involved in the coming years.
On the frontline. ORTM video of Malian army
French President François Hollande receiving a camel as a gift.
Daily life in Bamako during the war. Screenshot from Twitter