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Tages-Anzeiger - Switzerland | Monday, January 14, 2013

Mali needs more than military help

France joined the troops of the Mali government in their fight against Islamist militants in the country on Friday. The conflict is to be discussed at a special meeting of the UN Security Council today, Monday. The Tages-Anzeiger urges Western states to provide more than just military support: "The British and the Americans are also getting involved and thus countering the impression that the French President has embarked on an independent neo-colonialist initiative. … The entire region wants an end to the crisis in Mali. It already has enough to worry about: 18 million people have too little to eat, the desert is spreading and the growing young population has very limited chances of employment. This makes the slogans of those who cast themselves as holy warriors all the more seductive. But even if the Islamists are driven away, West Africa's problems remain unresolved. Long-term commitment is needed, for example with fair trade policies for mineral resources. France continues to buy uranium from West Africa for its nuclear industry for ridiculously low prices - in the style of an old colonial power."

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