Mali’s junta breaks off from defence accords with France

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Mali’s ruling junta says it is breaking off from its defence accords with former colonial ruler France

Mali’s ruling junta announced on Monday it was breaking off from its defence accords with former colonial ruler France, condemning “flagrant violations” of its national sovereignty by the French troops there.

The announcement — threatened several times over the past few weeks — was the latest confirmation of deteriorating relations between the junta in Mali and France.

Maiga cited multiple instances of French forces having violated the country’s airspace.

And he mentioned France’s decision taken in February to pull out its troops from Mali. 

France has not so far issued an official reaction to the junta’s announcement. 

Tensions between France and the junta in Mali, which seized power in August 2020, had been rising for some time.

They were signed a year after French troops deployed a large force to help Mali’s armed forces stop a jihadist offensive there.

Paris has also objected to the regime’s rapprochement with the Kremlin.

Vast swathes of Mali lie beyond government control because of the jihadist insurgency, which began in 2012 before spreading three years later to neighbouring Burkina Faso and Niger.

The conflict led to thousands of military and civilian deaths and forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes.

On Sunday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for a swift return to civilian rule in Mali, Guinea and Burkina Faso, all currently ruled by military regimes.

Originally published as Mali’s junta breaks off from defence accords with France


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