Some updates to my last post. Since then, there have been some positive signs. Niono itself is now securely in the hands of the Malian military as French troops have already reached the edge of Timbuktu.
At the same time, accusations of ethnic-based murders by the MALIAN army have been really disturbing.
If the lessons of Iraq affects French plans at all, they will immediately work to increase legitimacy and institutional capacity of the Malian government. Otherwise these rebellions will begin again at earnest as soon as the last soldier leaves.