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Analysis: Mali - one African war France could not avoid

French troops board a transport plane in Ndjamena, Chad in this picture provided by the French Army Communications Audiovisual office (ECPAD) on January 12, 2013. REUTERS/ECPAD/Adj. Nicolas Richard/Handout

French troops board a transport plane in Ndjamena, Chad in this picture provided by the French Army Communications Audiovisual office (ECPAD) on January 12, 2013. REUTERS/ECPAD/Adj. Nicolas Richard/Handout

French troops board a transport plane in Ndjamena, Chad in this picture provided by the French Army Communications Audiovisual office (ECPAD) on January 12, 2013. REUTERS/ECPAD/Adj. Nicolas Richard/Handout
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A still image from video released by the French Army Communications Audiovisual office (ECPAD) on January 12, 2013 shows French fitting rockets to a plane in Ndjamena. REUTERS/ECPAD via Reuters Tv/Handout

A still image from video released by the French Army Communications Audiovisual office (ECPAD) on January 12, 2013 shows French fitting rockets to a plane in Ndjamena. REUTERS/ECPAD via Reuters Tv/Handout

A still image from video released by the French Army Communications Audiovisual office (ECPAD) on January 12, 2013 shows French fitting rockets to a plane in Ndjamena. REUTERS/ECPAD via Reuters Tv/Handout
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A French pilot in the cockpit of a Mirage 2000D fighter plane gets ready for take-off from N'Djamena, Chad in this photo released by the French Army Communications Audiovisual office (ECPAD) on January 12, 2013. REUTERS/ECPAD/Adj. Nicolas Richard/Handout

A French pilot in the cockpit of a Mirage 2000D fighter plane gets ready for take-off from N'Djamena, Chad in this photo released by the French Army Communications Audiovisual office (ECPAD) on January 12, 2013. REUTERS/ECPAD/Adj. Nicolas...more

A French pilot in the cockpit of a Mirage 2000D fighter plane gets ready for take-off from N'Djamena, Chad in this photo released by the French Army Communications Audiovisual office (ECPAD) on January 12, 2013. REUTERS/ECPAD/Adj. Nicolas Richard/Handout
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A still image from video released by the French Army Communications Audiovisual office (ECPAD) on January 12, 2013 shows French troops walking to a plane in Ndjamena. REUTERS/ECPAD via Reuters Tv/Handout

A still image from video released by the French Army Communications Audiovisual office (ECPAD) on January 12, 2013 shows French troops walking to a plane in Ndjamena. REUTERS/ECPAD via Reuters Tv/Handout

A still image from video released by the French Army Communications Audiovisual office (ECPAD) on January 12, 2013 shows French troops walking to a plane in Ndjamena. REUTERS/ECPAD via Reuters Tv/Handout
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