House to investigate Mali crisis in the wake of French intervention

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“I am specifically going to just warn you that I would like to talk or have you respond in detail to what I perceive as a difficult, evolving situation in North Africa, now with Tunisia, with Libya, with all these countries, and certainly with Mali, and ... how you plan to direct the agency to deal with this evolving momentum that's taking place in northern Africa,” Feinstein told Brennan on the tail end of Thursday's confirmation hearing.

The crisis spilled over to neighboring Algeria late last month when Islamists took dozens of people hostage at a natural gas facility and demanded that French forces withdraw. Forty-eight foreign workers, including three Americans, were killed when Algerian forces intervened.

Witnesses at next week's hearing include Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for African Affairs Amanda Dory. The Obama administration had called for the creation of an African-led force to counter the militant rebels but militants threw that timeline into disarray when they struck the southern part of the country.