Home WORLD AFRICA Mali accuses France of arming Islamist fighters

Mali accuses France of arming Islamist fighters

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With these accusations, the government, dominated by the military, pushes its incriminations against France a step further.

The letter, addressed by the head of Malian diplomacy, Abdoulaye Diop, to the Chinese current presidency of the Security Council of theUNdenounces the repetitive and frequent violations of national airspace by French forces in recent months. It describes French aircraft engaged in activities considered espionage and attempts bullying.

The Malian authorities have several pieces of evidence that these flagrant violations of Malian airspace were used by France to collect intelligence for the benefit of terrorist groups operating in the Sahel and to drop arms and ammunition on them, adds Mr. Diop. He suggests that the French could have transported by helicopter two members of a jihadist group, at the beginning of August, in the region of Timbuktu.

The French military force completed its withdrawal from Mali on Monday.

French soldiers from the Barkhane force patrol the streets of Timbuktu, northern Mali, in December 2021.

Photo: dpa via getty images / THOMAS COEX

The Mali guest the Security Council to work so that France immediately cease its acts of aggression and asks the Chinese presidency to communicate these elements to the members of the Security Council for an emergency meeting, said Mr. Diop.

The Mali reserves the right to use self-defense if the French actions persist, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, affirms the minister.

rapprochement with Russia

These latest manifestations of the deterioration of Franco-Malian relations strictly coincide with the departure of the last French soldiers to Mali after nine years of engagement against the jihadists. The junta in power in Mali since the August 2020 putsch has turned away from France and its allies to turn towards Russia.

The French army, pushed towards the exit, successively left and transferred to the Malian authorities its various bases in Mali, the last Monday in Gao.

The Russians seem to have not dragged. The German government said on Wednesday it had information that around 20 or 30 people, probably Russians in uniform, were spotted unloading a plane at Gao airport on the day of the French departure.

The airport adjoins the perimeter which included the French base and also includes the camp of the UN mission (MINUSMA) with a strong German contingent.

Charges tried insulting

General Bruno Baratz, commander of the French anti-jihadist force in the Sahel, said he found amazing that the French are accused of supporting the jihadists.

comrades [français] who fell fighting for Mali, and also for the memory of all the Malians who fought alongside us, but also the personnel of MINUSMA, of the African forces of MINUSMA who fell fighting against terrorism” ,”text”:”It’s a bit insulting to the memory of our 59comrades [français] who fell fighting for Mali, and also for the memory of all the Malians who fought alongside us, but also the personnel of MINUSMA, of the African forces of MINUSMA who fell fighting against terrorism” }}”>It’s a bit insulting to the memory of our 59 comrades [français] who fell fighting for Mali, for the memory of all the Malians who fought alongside us as well as for that of the personnel of MINUSMA and the African forces of MINUSMA who fell fighting against terrorismhe told Radio France Internationale in Niger, a neighboring country of Mali and an ally of France which has accepted the maintenance of a French air base in Niamey.

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Asked about the accusations made by Mali against France, the deputy spokesman for the UN secretary general, Antonio Guterres, said that the United Nations was extremely grateful to France and the French forces for their commitment to stabilize Mali. Without giving a name, Farhan Haq said he hoped that any other country cooperating with the Malian authorities would also try to play a stabilizing role.

As for an emergency Council meeting, he said the decision was up to its members.

Mali is not a member of the Security Council and its request must be relayed by a Member State. On condition of anonymity in New York, a diplomat said he judged unlikely that such a meeting takes place.

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