African nation has threatened to exercise its right to self-defense, citing repeated French ‘acts of aggression’
Mali has urged the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to put an end to allegations of “acts of aggressionby France, accusing Paris of arming and gathering information for terrorist groups operating in Mali’s Sahel region.
French drones, helicopters and fighter jets have entered Malian airspace more than 50 times this year to “collecting information for terrorist groups operating in the Sahel and dropping arms and ammunition on them”, Foreign Minister Abdoulaye Diop wrote in a letter to the UN dated Monday and released Wednesday.
Diop claimed the thefts were engaged in “activities considered espionageas well as intimidation and that the Malian government has evidence proving that France had both collected intelligence and supplied weapons to some of the same jihadist groups it has been supposed to fight for nearly a decade. Specifically, he alleged, France allegedly transported two members of a jihadist group by helicopter to the Timbuktu region in early August.
Warning that Mali “reserves the right to use self-defense” if the French continue to violate their sovereignty under the United Nations Charter, Diop called on the president of the United Nations Security Council, China, to use its demands as the basis for an emergency meeting of the council.
French soldiers arrived in Mali in 2013 at the invitation of the government and managed to rout the Islamist forces that had taken control of the north of the country. Paris then poured billions of dollars into what became known as Operation Barkhane, expanding its jihad-hunting scheme across Burkina Faso, Chad, Mauritania and Niger – all former French colonies .
France ends its military mission in the former colony
Following a military coup in 2021, Mali’s new government ordered the French out and in May canceled its defense agreements with France and five neighboring African countries, alleging “gross violationsof its sovereignty. The last French soldiers left Mali this week, although France maintains an air base in Niger and a detachment in Chad and hopes to maintain a contingent of special forces in Burkina Faso.
You can share this story on social media: