Mali’s military rulers would violate defense pacts with former colonial France. The military junta accused French forces of “blatant violations” of Mali’s sovereignty.
The announcement is another step in the deterioration of relations between France and Mali. According to an army spokesman, the French army regularly violated Mali’s airspace.
French forces suspended joint military operations with the Malian army in June last year. At the beginning of this year, France withdrew all its forces from the west African country. Other European countries, such as the Netherlands, also halted their fight against the jihadists in Mali.
Mali’s junta came to power in August 2020. Relations with France, which has been fighting jihadists in Mali since 2013, deteriorated when the junta refused to relinquish power despite previous promises. The French ambassador to Mali was forced to leave early this year.
Relations between Paris and Mali also deteriorated because of Russia. Both France and the United States say mercenaries from the Kremlin’s security company Wagner have been deployed to Mali. The military council claims that they are only used as military instructors.
Reporter Saskia Hotwin traveled to Mali and saw how much Russia has affected the country:
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