The ruling generals […] reaffirmed that Denmark was not welcome in Mali. We do not accept it and for this reason we have decided to repatriate our soldiersForeign Minister Jeppe Kofod said after a meeting in parliament in Copenhagen.
We are here at the invitation of Mali. The putschist generals – in a dirty political game – withdrew this invitation […] because they don’t want a quick plan to return to democracyhe protested.
In the afternoon, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian gave him his support.
This junta is illegitimate and is taking irresponsible actions […]. It bears full responsibility for the withdrawal of Danish forces and further isolates itself from its international partners.he said alongside his Nigerian counterpart Hassoumi Massoudou in Paris.
The head of French diplomacy also announced
discussions with all of our partners for
draw the consequences of this double rupture marked by the junta, both political and military.
What future for European troops in Mali?
The contributing countries intend to exchange on Friday by videoconference to decide on the future of Takuba, a group of European special forces created in 2020 at the initiative of France, with a view to sharing the burden in the Sahel, and which Denmark had joined.
To everyone’s surprise, the junta in power in Mali since the 2020 coup had asked Denmark on Monday to withdraw its troops, who had arrived the previous week, on the grounds that their deployment was
intervened without his consent.
Copenhagen replied that it had responded to a
clear invitation of Mali. But the Malian transitional government had reiterated
insistently his request on the night of Wednesday to Thursday.
We can’t stay when the government of Mali doesn’t want usjustified the Minister of Defense, Trine Bramsen, before adding:
We don’t want to be laughed at either..
The Danish army judged, in a press release, that it would be necessary
Several weeks to bring back men and equipment.
Bitter exchanges between Paris and Bamako
This new setback for the European anti-jihadist force, which had asked the junta on Wednesday to
respect the solid foundations of diplomatic and operational cooperationcomes in full degradation of relations between France, at the head of the coalition, and Mali.
The crisis has accelerated since the military who came to power in a putsch in August 2020 went back on their initial commitment to organize elections in February 2022 that would have brought civilians back to the head of the country.
The international community is also concerned about the presence on Malian soil of paramilitaries from the sulphurous group of Russian mercenaries Wagner.
On Tuesday, the French Minister for the Armed Forces Florence Parly accused the junta of multiplying
the provocations. A senior official of the latter in return gave him the
advice to be silent, evoking, gratingly as possible, a
sentence of Alfred de Vigny on the greatness of silence.
The arrival of Danish soldiers, planned since spring 2021, was announced on January 18. Hardened by its participation in most Western military interventions for 20 years (Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya …), the Danish army had already sent reinforcements to Mali in recent years, for some within the Minusma – force of the UN – and for others within the French Barkhane force, including helicopters. Danish officers in the UN mission are not affected by Thursday’s decision.
On Wednesday, the junta felt entitled to receive
apologies from the Danish authorities while mentioning the
very good reputation from Denmark to Mali, because of its action in favor of development.
We invite them to pay attention to certain partners who unfortunately find it difficult to abandon colonial reflexes.it was written.
In Paris, the head of Niger’s diplomacy for his part welcomed the
total convergence of points of view between Paris and Niamey.
We are determined to continue this fight in a clear framework, in civilized relations with state partners, to fight terrorism and defeat terrorism.said Hassoumi Massoudou.