It’s a thin line between love and hate. It’s a line that has been crossed by many.
France and the French were in general not the most loved visitors of Mali. Shaking of the yoke of the colonial past had been proven to be very difficult. Visiting Mali, chances were rather high that you’d be asked if you were French. If not, you could often count on hand shakes and bright smiles.
On January 11th, after almost a year of hardship for the people in Mali*, France decided enough is enough. When the groups occupying the North started pushing southwards to the town of Sévaré France instantly answered Mali’s demand for help by sending troops.
Whereas an international intervention had been highly criticized by several groups before, the majority of the population (in the North as well as in the South) is feeling very grateful to France and its soldiers.
Almost overnight the opinion about France drastically changed and French flags have become very popular in Mali.
I don’t like war and I’d wished for other more peaceful solutions.
However the French intervention has proven that opinions and sentiments can change overnight!
* While the North of the country was occupied by several groups of radical islamists, the South of the country was suffering a deep economical crisis.