Mali government breaks military agreement with France

2022-05-03 17:18:51
Mali government breaks military agreement with France

Mali’s government has announced it is breaking its military agreements with former colonial ruler France.

The West African nation condemned the “flagrant violations” of its national sovereignty by the French troops stationed there.

The announcement was the latest sign of deteriorating relations between Mali and France.

“For some time now, the government of the Republic of Mali notes with regret a profound deterioration in military cooperation with France,” spokesman Colonel Abdoulaye Maiga said in a televised statement.

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

He referred to the June 2021 move by France to end joint operations with Malian forces and mentioned another decision taken in February to pull French troops out of the West African state.

The agreements Mali has ended were those that set the framework for France’s intervention in Mali in 2014.

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

The development comes after Malian troops discovered a mass grave close to a former French military base. French forces handed the Gossi military base back to the Malian army just weeks ago.

The Malian army’s general staff revealed in a statement that “bodies in a state of advanced putrefaction were discovered in a mass grave, not far from the camp formerly occupied by the French force Barkhane.”

A French mission began in Mali in 2013 to allegedly counter militants that Paris claims are linked to the al-Qaeda and Daesh terrorist groups. Accordingly, the French government deployed thousands of soldiers to presumably prevent separatist forces from reaching Bamako.

The war caused several thousand deaths and more than a million people to flee their homes. There have been two military coups in roughly a year, amid growing demonstrations against France’s military presence.

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