You thought French Africa was a thing of the past? It most certainly is not, and despite Hollande’s rhetoric on this issue, as on many others, the Socialist Party and the UMP are like Tweedledum and Tweedledee.
“France has no interest in Mali”, declared François Hollande to the press on 16 January. “It is merely at the county’s service.” Like it? France has no interest in the Sahel region? Not even in the uranium mines in Niger, operated by Areva  to supply French nuclear power plants?
Certainly, the fact that an army of Salafists are the law in northern Mali pleases no-one – neither the local inhabitants condemned to live under the rule of fanatics nor the other States in the region who fear destabilization, nor other Malians, who see their country split in two and on the verge of collapse.
But if the situation is of particular concern to France, it is primarily because in recent years, uranium mining in Niger has become dangerous, as a result of the repeated incursions and kidnappings. It is above all for this reason that today the French army is bombing and begun fighting on the ground.
This intervention also allows France to regain its leadership in the region ahead of its US ally who for several years has been training – unsuccessfully, it seems – the Malian army to fight the “war on terror”.
Economic and geopolitical interests weigh heavily in the balance, much more so than chopped-off hands or defaced mausoleums.
The Malians who today are crying “Vive la France” and who see François Hollande as a liberator  need to see the reality of the situation.
Beating the Salafists, freeing the people of Gao or Timbuktu – this should have been a matter for the Malians themselves, possibly with the help of neighbouring countries. That would really have signified a break with the dependence vis-à-vis the former colonial power.
In letting the Élysée Palace complacently take over, and even agreeing with relief to this intervention, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad , the interim government in Mali and also the “anti-imperialist” Captain Sanogo  have tied themselves deliberately to the neo-colonialist chariot and with them the peoples of West Africa for a long time to come.
Alternative Libertaire also denounces the security reinforcements here, in France, which are accompanying this war, with the move to code red of Vigipirate  and the return of the terrorist bogeyman being used to increase repression and the stigmatization of Islam and Africans, the eternal “enemies within”.
French army, go home!
African comrades, reject neo-colonialism!
And… no nuclear!
16 January 2013
Translation by FdCA – International Relations Office.
5. Translator’s note: France’s national security altert system.