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    • Management of the Mali crisis raised discussion in BCSP

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    • Date: 27 November 2013
      The lecture in BCSP library gathered representatives from Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Defence, Security Information Agency, OSCE Mission to Serbia, political parties and civil society.
      Management of the Mali Crisis lecture held in BCSP library gathered respected participants
      Management of the Mali Crisis lecture held in BCSP library gathered respected participants

      Background of the crisis in Mali, French involvement in management of the crisis and international aspects of the situation were the topic of the lecture held in the BCSP library on 27. November 2013 by H.E. Mr François-Xavier Deniau, ambassador of France to Serbia and lieutenant-colonel Olivier Rouanet, Defense Attachéat the French Embassy in Belgrade.

      The lecture started with the background on Mali crisis. Armed rebellion in northern Mali started in early 2012. After that, coup de etat ensued in March, the same year. The situation was going out of control with various militant islamist groups joining the conflict, threatening to destabilize the whole region. In the January 2013 France launched operation Serval, with the aim to ensure security in the region.

      Operation Serval had three objectives:

      • Stop the progress of the rebels,
      • Preserve the integrity of the state, and
      • Ensure the implementation of international agreements.

      Operation Serval in Mali had several elements: blocking action, force deployment of terrorists, maneuver space conquest, in-depth actions in North and exploatation.

      Crisis exit strategy

      During the lecture it was said that one of the most difficult part of every operation is to put an end on it. Crisis exit strategy in the case of Mali was based on promotion of the dialogue between two antagonistic groups. Also, it was said that problem could not been solved only with military action. It was stressed out that only 6 months after Serval begun there were elections with voter turnout of over 50% and without any incidents.

      International aspects

      During the lecture it was also discussed on the international aspects of the situation in relation to the European Union and the United Nations. It was stressed that Africa is EU neighbourgh, and what happens in Africa is not problem only for France, Spain and Italy - it is problem for whole Europe. It was said that situation in Africa will be the topic of the upcoming summit of the European Council which will be organized in December.

      The event was organized in accordance with the Chatham House Rule.

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