France’s job in Mali winding down

French troops took control of Kidal in northern Mali on Wednesday, scoring  yet another victory in their recent attempts to overcome the al-Qaeda linked rebels.

The CBC reports that Alex Vines, head of the Africa program at Chatham House has said, “Nobody questions France’s rapid deployment, but the ability to hold on to the cities and territory is an immense challenge. It is not clear how they will be able to sustain the recent gains.”

The role of the French is now winding down. They were welcomed by overjoyed crowds after recapturing two other provincial capitals, Timbuktu and Gao with the help of Malian troops.

French President Francois Hollande, said forces would stay in Mali as long as needed. However, the expectation now falls upon African nations to take the lead as soon as possible. There are approximately 2,900 African soldiers in Mali, 1,400 belonging to Chad.

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