France, U.S. Trying to Pressure Algeria to Support Intervention in Mali

Military mission would enter northern Mali to rout out insurgents out of Libya


With the sacking of Malian Prime Minister Cheick Modibo Diarra earlier this week, the latest crisis in this West African nation threatens to endanger plans for an African-led military mission to re-conquer northern Mali and rid the region of al Qaeda-linked jihadist groups.

Algeria, the wealthiest country with the strongest security services in the region, is a natural leader on regional security. Like Mali, Algeria also has a Tuareg population—a traditionally nomadic people spread across national borders in the Sahel, the remote transitional belt between the Sahara and sub-Saharan Africa. It was the latest Tuareg rebellion that led to the 2011 breakup of northern Mali.