Mali bans NGOs funded or supported by France in West African nation
Mali's junta announced on Monday a ban on the activities of purported NGOs funded or supported by France, amid a worsening row between Paris and its former colony in West Africa.
The West African nation's interim Prime Minister Colonel Abdoulaye Maiga justified the move in a statement on social media, calling it a response to France's recent halt to development aid for Mali.
The French foreign ministry said last week it had made the decision, which came three months after finalising its withdrawal of forces from the country, over Bamako's alleged use of paramilitaries from Russian group Wagner.
In August, Mali’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Abdoulaye Diop accused France of supporting terrorist groups.
A French mission began in Mali in 2013 to allegedly counter militants that Paris claimed were linked to the al-Qaeda and Daesh terrorist groups. Accordingly, the French government deployed thousands of soldiers to purportedly 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.
France has been a former colonizer in Africa, and, after years of outright colonization, still seeks control over countries spread over more than 12 territories and treats their people as second-class citizens.
It has had more than 50 military interventions in Africa since 1960, when many of its former colonies gained nominal independence.