Mali Accused France of Aiding Terrorists, Jihadists

While the hypothesis of a total withdrawal of French troops from Mali is becoming clearer at the Elysée, the transitional authorities in power in Bamako continued, Monday, February 7, the verbal escalation with Paris. 

After the expulsion, at the end of January, of the French ambassador following comments deemed “hostile and outrageous” by Jean-Yves Le Drian on the “illegitimate” nature of the junta, the Prime Minister, Choguel Maïga, accused France of working for the “partition” of its country.

In front of the entire diplomatic corps gathered for a “discussion session on the orientations and choices” of Mali, Mr. Maïga described as “mercenaries” “some of the French legionnaires” who exercised powers  “within the “ Barkhane ” force.  “. 

The planes of the French operation were also singled out for having entered “without authorization” several times in January in the airspace of the country. One with an overflight request described as “counterfeit”, another suspected of carrying “we don’t know what”.

Without, once again, clearly demanding the departure of foreign troops, the head of government presented the military intervention launched in 2013 to stop the advance of armed separatist and jihadist groups in northern Mali as a “partition operation”. of his country, emphasizing that it had made it possible to “create a sanctuary where terrorists could organize themselves”.

The accusation was also made against the mission which brings together, under French command, special forces from a dozen European countries deployed in support of Malian soldiers. “  [The task force] “ Takuba ” is to divide Mali. It ‘s “ the sword ”, in [language] Songhai and in Tamasheq, it’s not a name that was taken by chance”, declared Choguel Maïga.

A “turning point”

“Barkhane”, “Takuba”, United Nations stabilization mission in Mali (Minusma), G5-Sahel joint force, European Union military training mission in Mali… “We have the feeling that the massive presence of foreign forces and the multiplication of military operations (…) are inversely proportional to the expansion of terrorism”, insisted the head of government, warning that the authorities were going to “learn lessons”.

To evoke “the change in the security paradigm” in progress, he cited the example of Afghanistan, “where the weariness and impotence of the international community, after twenty years of military presence, have ended up putting the Afghans in front of their sad fate. A sovereignist line intended to unite behind the junta a Malian people increasingly turned against the West and France.


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