On Nov. 14, the Forces Armées Maliennes (FAMA) liberated the city of Kidal in northern Mali from separatist forces that had occupied the city for over 10 years.
This has been a long and difficult struggle for the people of Mali, who have also had to confront various forces occupying their West African country for years, including thousands of French military troops (Opération Serval and Opération Barkhane); hundreds of European Union military troops (Takuba Task Force) from various countries including Britain, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Estonia, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, Romania and Sweden, and thousands of soldiers with the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) from over 60 countries.
These military missions only made things inside Mali worse than they were without them. Eventually Mali’s people threw them all out of the country and instead turned to the Russian Federation for military assistance to combat instability in the north of the country. The instability increased enormously after a U.S.-led NATO intervention destroyed the Libyan government in 2011.
The expulsion of French and other imperialist missions has dealt French imperialism a historic setback, considering its vast economic interests in Mali and the rest of the Sahel region, located between the Sahara Desert in North Africa and the tropical regions of Africa from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea.
This Sahel includes Niger and Burkina Faso, where the current governments have also demanded the French military leave. In messages of Pan-African solidarity, both neighboring countries congratulated Mali on the liberation of Kidal.