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Le Soir - Belgium | Monday, January 21, 2013

Europe must bring about security in Africa

US President Barack Obama was sworn in on Monday for his second term in office. The liberal daily Le Soir observes that Obama no longer sees the US in the role of global policeman, and calls on Europe to defend security in Africa on its own: "The quasi-simultaneity of the start of Barack Obama's second mandate and the events in Mali and Algeria must lead us Europeans to rethink our role and responsibilities in a world that is very different to what we are used to. The United States used to play the role of policeman, a role that was all the easier to criticise in that it offered us unconditional protection. Under Obama, the United States is now preoccupied with domestic challenges. Although it continues to commiserate, it is no longer willing to act in what it considers to be Europe's 'back yard', to use the old term. That's what François Hollande has understood. ... It has now become one of Europe's key challenges to promote stability and development in Northern and Sub-Saharan Africa, with military means if necessary."

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