March 25, 2023

The Political Chronicle

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Insecurity, Wagner, change … In many areas of friction between France and Mali

The first meeting between Emmanuel Macron and Azim Qaeda, Mali’s transgender leader, will not take place until Monday, when French President Covit-19 canceled his trip due to an outbreak. Missed the opportunity to speak face to face on several key issues between Paris and Bamako. Descriptions.

The first abortion meeting between Emmanuel Macron and Colonel Azimi Koida, the leader of Mali’s Transformation. The French head of state canceled. His visit to Bamako, scheduled for Monday, December 17, was to meet with the Malian leader who came to power thanks to the August 2020 coup.

The official reason for this cancellation was that if the health condition of France had deteriorated, it would have been a difficult task to arrange this visit due to the Covit-19 epidemic, when tensions between France and Mali were routine and routine. Location, at PMK, Anti-French protests.

In recent months, strategic differences over the fight against terrorism in Sahel have become an open critique between the two countries. France 24 returns to the important issues facing Paris and Bamako.

Insecurity: Whose fault is it?

Welcomed with open arms in January 2013, the French army succeeded in repelling jihadist forces leaving the north to capture the Malian capital. Since then, despite the presence of French troops from the counter-terrorism operation in Sahel, the security situation in the country has deteriorated, especially in the center, which has become a scene of repeated terrorist attacks.

The situation in Bamako is provoking anti-French sentiment – there are ongoing protests demanding the withdrawal of France – but criticism of the Malian government also underscores the country’s inevitable security decline despite French commitment. Paris, for its part, considers that the Malian authorities have not played their part in using the military advance to regain state power.

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Whether or not to negotiate with extremists

Although groups affiliated with al-Qaeda and the Islamic State organization remain in Mali, the strategy pursued against the jihadists is one of the main points of difference between Bamako and Paris.

The Malian government considers it its duty to initiate a dialogue: “This has been a strong demand of the Malian people for many years to say that those with jihadists are often idle, often educated (…). Prime Minister Choguel Kokalla Maïga explained 24 to France, End of September.

France, for its part, categorically rejects the idea of ​​negotiations outside the framework of the Algiers Agreement, which ended in 2015. “(This agreement provides a dialogue with various political and autonomous groups. But that does not mean that we are necessary. Conversation with terrorist groups continues to kill civilians and soldiers, including our own soldiers,” Emmanuel Macron said last November. In an interview with Jeune Afrique.

Wagner Document

Last September, just months after France announced it was reducing its troops in Mali, rumors circulated that talks were underway between Malian officials and those in the country. Auxiliary Army Group WagneR. Are broadcast by magazines. France is launching a diplomatic offensive, he said Alliance between Mali and Russian militants, Accused by the UN of abuse in the Central African Republic, is “inappropriate” to maintain a French force in the country.

Without confirming the rumors, Bamako presents the sovereignty of the state and may form new security alliances “in defense of its territorial integrity”. For Mali, the need to find new allies is paramount, given the withdrawal of French troops from the north of the country. This is because on June 10, the announcement of the end of Operation Burgain was received very badly by the Malian authorities.

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>> Read more: “Who are the Russian fighters of the Wagner group who are approaching the military regime in Mali?”

Controversy over French redistribution

The French presence in Mali is increasingly being criticized, with Paris now seeking to withdraw in support of the European army of Takuba and concentrating its military efforts in the zone of the “Three Borders” at the center. Action. Redistribution before the UN General Assembly on September 25, described by Prime Minister Soukwell Micah as “abandoning the whole plane.”

The latter condemns a “unilateral” decision, which he says he learned from the press. “Indecent” words by Florence Barley, Minister of the French Armed Forces. “When we have 5,000 soldiers, we relinquish three rights, and we intend to leave several thousand more. When we park sophisticated armored vehicles in Sahel (…), this is not the case. The Minister then announced.

>> Read more: “End of Operation Barken: What Strategy for French Forces in Sahel?”

Democratic change

Eager to avoid criticism, the French government was initially prudent in this matter Democratic change in Mali, Leave negotiations with the military junta to regional organizations such as the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union. But the delays in arranging the elections to allow the general public to return to power, later Rising tensions Between Bamako and Paris.

>> Read more: “Ikovas wants to push for elections with his restrictions ‘without punishing the people'”

The previous government had set a deadline of February 27, 2022, but the military junta refused to release the election schedule, despite ECOWAS’s insistence. In this context, the outspoken criticism of the Malian authorities towards France goes very badly.

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“I know the Malians do not think so,” Emmanuel Macron announced on September 30, in response to allegations that the Malian prime minister had been “abandoned”. The French president later determined the “legitimacy of the current government” was “democratically zero” as a result of the two coups from 2020 onwards.