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For now, France has achieved its objectives, at minimal costs and to general acclaim. But the crisis is not over. As it unfolds, France will find that it is unable to influence the course of events as decisively as it has in weeks past.
Military occupation is not only bad news for the people who live in Timbuktu, but also for its world-renowned centers of learning that house precious manuscripts, some of which date to the 13th century.