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This week I attended a conference and Q&A with Tièman Hubert Coulibaly, Foreign Minister for Mali’s interim government, which was both a privilege and a remarkable coincidence given the subject of my latest post. Mr. Coulibaly was in Europe to attend emergency meetings with both French and EU officials. Concerning the latter, a ministerial meeting in support of Mali was convened in Brussels on Tuesday (5th February). Together with the presence of United Nations officials, participants discussed ways to reinforce military cooperation and gains against the rebels in northern Mali. Since I last wrote, French and Malian troops have pushed the rebels back, recapturing Mali’s northern cities Timbuktu and Kidal. Around 2,000 African soldiers, together with 3,500 French soldiers, are now on the ground in Mali. Dioncounda Trarore, Mali’s interim president, has recently stated that he is prepared to negotiate with the Tuareg separatists and the French have suggested that […]

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