The French military has been in Mali for more than eight years as part of Operation Barkhane, a mission to fight against Islamic extremism in the Sahel. But instead of getting rid of the terrorist threat in the north, violence has simply bled into the other parts of the country. That’s because these problems— neglect by a weakened state and intercommunal violence brought on by a brutal fight for limited resources— cannot be solved by foreign military might alone. As the French Army wraps up this mission in the region, VICE News takes a look at the conditions that make this fight so complex.
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