French defence minister visits Mali as France mourns soldiers

I joined my next door neighbour for coffee and a game of cards yesterday evening and this was the first thing he told me when we met. He sounded very shocked by it, but he’s a veteran of North Africa himself. I wasn’t fully aware that Mali was a colonial outpost until yesterday, shows how narrow my territorial perspective is.

France has about 4500 troops in Mali. Much of the country is Islamist and the French intelligence services break up cells weekly.
My step-son in law is Malian and is a strict Moslem as is his wife who converted. You won’t meet a nicer guy but admits the terrorist threat from his country in increasing.

We have a soldier from Trivy named on our war memorial. He was killed in Mali two years ago.
we only have about 275 people in our commmune.

Yes, I find it interesting how some communes add to their memorials when others can’t be bothered and only have the WW1 or WW2 fallen.

When it is such a small community one person is missed, especially if it is a young person.

One of my former pupils was killed there last year, aged 22

That was so sad.