This is a comment on the Algerian press article immediately above this post.
The basic line of argument in the article is that France should not be intervening in the Sahara and where they are seen to intervene, it is for geopolitical reasons - such as securing supply of raw materials like bauxite and uranium.
I find this argument quite dated. Sure, Europe may be interested in raw materials, but the situation is not as simple as it was 100 years ago. For example, France has maintained a large and highly visible military presence in Chad but that did not stop Chad deciding against France as their partner in oil deals a couple of years ago.
But notably, in the case of AQIM and the Sahara, if the Algerian journalist is moaning about French intervention, then that journalist also has to ask what, if anything, has been done to combat AQIM since they set up shop in the desert in 2003 - six or more years ago. Not much is the simple answer. If Mali and the rest of the countries concerned were to stand by and watch for another six or more years, then AQIM will have built quite an empire. So the question that the journalist should be asking is 'why did it take so long to have a go at these guys?'.