Thus far, Algerian press coverage and reactions are divided on France’s military intervention in northern Mali, Operation SERVAL, as well as the additional thrusts in the south by Mali’s jihadist coalition. Skepticism that has been prevalent in Algerian media coverage of calls for the internationalization of the Malian crisis remains a strong thread in opinion and editorial writing nonetheless. While significant strands of elite opinion—especially at the political level—appear to have somewhat rallied to support military intervention in northern Mali. At the same time, the Algerian government’s longstanding position in favor of “dialogue” and a “political solution” to the crisis remains evident in press reports, government statements, and skepticism over the prospects that the intervention will successfully resolve Mali’s troubles persists. Comments from Algerian intellectuals depicting the campaign as a “proxy war” of the United States or as destined for failure, and highlights given to the opinions of certain French voices suggest some level of discomfort over France’s intentions and the Algerian government’s role in the crisis; this is to be expected to some extent given the background of distrust between Paris and Algiers over Mali, as well as the nature of Franco-Algerian relations in general. Outside of the major dailies, some confusion does appear to exist over Algiers’ position in the ongoing struggle. This post only reviews French-language media and looks at perspectives through the beginning of the week of 13 January.
Read more for a summary of the discussions going on in Algerian press, featuring excerpts from Tut Sur Algerie, El Watan, Le Temps, Le Soir d’Algerie, and Algerie-Focus.