Mali prime minister slams France for plotting to partition African country
Mali's prime minister has blasted France for attempting to divide his country during a foreign military mission against terrorist groups.
Choguel Kokalla Maiga, head of the government installed by the junta that came to power in June 2021, said the French intervention "later turned into a de facto partition of the country."
In a 45-minute speech to diplomats, Maiga acknowledged the French military intervention in 2013 in his country purportedly curbed the militant groups who had captured the desert north; however, the terrorists were given a second chance to regroup and return to force in 2014 even through the presence of foreign military forces.
The prime minister focused on the deteriorating relations between his country and its former colonizer, and as he recalled the memory of the Second World War, he said,” Didn’t the Americans liberate France? When the French judged that (the US presence) was no longer necessary, they told the Americans to leave.”
Miaga added, “Did the Americans start insulting the French? ”
Anti-French sentiment is on the rise in West Africa as the security situation deteriorates despite the presence of French troops in the troubled region. France recently deployed more troops in the Sahel despite opposition to its presence there.
Tensions have been mounting after Mali expelled its French envoy two weeks ago over what the country described as “hostile and outrageous” comments by the former colonial power.
Thousands of anti-French protesters flocked to the streets in the Malian capital of Bamako celebrating the expulsion of the former colonizer’s envoy from the African country.
Paris pushed economic and other sanctions against the African country after the expulsion, with the European Union following suit by by imposing sanctions on several Malian officials, including the prime minister.
The Malain authorities also accused France of colluding with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) against the sovereignty of the territory.