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LE MONDE (France), SKY NEWS (Australia), BBC (UK)

Worldcrunch

BAMAKO - The United Nations Security Council has approved an open-ended resolution authorizing military operation to secure northern Mali from terrorist organizations. The design of this gradual intervention, authored by France and to be led by African forces (Ecowas) and supported by the UN military, has been repeatedly demanded by the African Union.

With the resolution adopted late Thursday, the intervention still does not include a starting date. Le Monde reported that it aims to free the north of the country from the Islamic extremists who invaded the region six months ago, destroying shrines and imposing Islamic law. Aqmi, Mujao and Touaregs have made major gains against the Malian army, which has been nearly decimated. The reconstruction of this national armed force is thus a priority for the UN.

[rebelmouse-image 27086112 alt=""File:Mali" original_size="350x376" expand=1]

This latest decision comes shortly after President Barack Obama’s decision to end the trade privileges between the US and both Mali and Guinea Bissau. Sky News sees Obama's move as a direct result of the gains of extremists, and the backtracking on democracy in the two countries.

The BBC reports that thousands of people have fled the region to find shelter in Mauritania. The immediate consequence of this operation would drive 400,000 people out of their homes in order to minimize the casualties.

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Geopolitics

A Ukrainian In Belgrade: The Straight Line From Milosevic To Putin, And Back Again

As hostilities flare again between Serbia and Kosovo, the writer draws connections between the dissolutions of both the USSR and Yugoslavia, and the leaders who exploit upheaval and feed the worst kind of nationalism.

On the streets of Belgrade, Serbia

Anna Akage

-Analysis-

At high school in Kyiv in the late 1990s, we studied the recent history of Yugoslavia: the details of its disintegration, the civil wars, the NATO bombing of Belgrade. When we compared Yugoslavia and the USSR, it seemed evident to us that if Boris Yeltsin or Mikhail Gorbachev had been anything like Serbian dictator Slobodan Milosevic, bloody wars would have been unavoidable for Ukraine, Belarus, and other republics that instead had seceded from the Soviet Union without a single shot being fired.

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Fast forward to 2020, when I visited Belgrade for the first time, invited for a friend's wedding. Looking around, I was struck by the decrepit state of its roads, the lack of any official marked cabs, by the drudgery, but most of all by the tension and underlying aggression in society. It was reflected in all the posters and inscriptions plastered on nearly every street. Against Albania, against Kosovo, against Muslims, claims for historical justice, Serbian retribution, and so on. A rather beautiful, albeit by Soviet standards, Belgrade seemed like a sleeping scorpion.

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