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World Macron threatens to pull French troops from Mali

13:26  30 may  2021
13:26  30 may  2021 Source:   bbc.com

Emanuel Macron Promises French Sanctions for Mali as President Resigns After Detainment

  Emanuel Macron Promises French Sanctions for Mali as President Resigns After Detainment Macron described the detention of the transitional leaders as a coup d'etat and on Wednesday warned of repercussions, including targeted sanctions. Gabriel Attal, a French government spokesman said, "We were very clear with the junta: the transition must include civilians. It must be peaceful, it must be inclusive and it must be limited in time. What has happened with what amount to a coup d'etat within the coup d'etat constitutes for us a rupture of confidence.

President Emmanuel Macron has warned that France would withdraw troops from Mali if political instability there leads to greater Islamist radicalisation.

Emmanuel Macron holding a sign: Mr Macron told West African leaders that French soldiers will not be in the region © Getty Images Mr Macron told West African leaders that French soldiers will not be in the region "forever"

It follows a second coup in nine months in the West African nation.

Mr Macron warned of the risk of Mali "moving towards" Islamist influence.

France has 5,100 troops in the Sahel region which has been a front line in the war against Islamist militancy.

French troops have been supporting forces in Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Burkina Faso and Chad to battle militants in the Sahel region since 2013.

France’s Macron threatens to pull troops out of Mali

  France’s Macron threatens to pull troops out of Mali French president says Paris will withdraw soldiers if Mali lurches towards what he called “radical Islamism” after coup.France has about 5,100 troops in the region under its so-called Operation Barkhane which spans five countries in the Sahel – Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger.

Mr Macron told Jounal du Dimanche newspaper that he had told regional leaders that France would not support countries where there was no democratic legitimacy or transition, and that France had no intention of keeping its troops in Africa forever.

For decades France has provided military support to back leaders of its former colonies in Africa, often sending troops or despatching air strikes to counter armed rebels.

a man in a military vehicle: French troops are part of Operation Barkhane against militants in the Sahel © AFP French troops are part of Operation Barkhane against militants in the Sahel

What is happening in Mali?

Coup leader Colonel Assimi Goïta was named transitional president by the constitutional court on Friday, two days after he declared himself the interim leader.


Gallery: Anti-president Somali soldiers begin returning to barracks (Reuters)

ECOWAS suspends Mali over second coup in nine months

  ECOWAS suspends Mali over second coup in nine months West African leaders condemn coup and call for a return to democracy, but stop short of imposing new sanctions. © President of Ghana and Chair of the ECOWAS Nana Akufo-Addo, (centre), addresses dignitaries at the E...

a man standing in front of a crowd: Somali military opposition soldiers from Hawiye clan parade as they move to their barracks after reaching an agreement with the prime minister following clashes over the tenure of the president in Mogadishu, Somalia May 7, 2021. REUTERS/Feisal Omar

He defended the removal of President Bah Ndaw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane as necessary because they had failed in their duties and were seeking to sabotage the country's transition.

Soldiers arrested and detained the two men after a cabinet reshuffle that Col Goïta said he was not consulted about.

He also led the coup last August, which saw the elected President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta forced out of office.

Col Goïta has now promised that a new prime minister would be appointed within days, and that elections would still go ahead next year as planned.

a man sitting on a couch: Colonel Goïta has led two coups in the last nine months © Getty Images Colonel Goïta has led two coups in the last nine months

Meanwhile, regional leaders will on Sunday hold a "consultation" meeting in Ghana, which Col Goïta is expected to attend.

  • How to solve Mali’s coup conundrum
  • Are coups on the rise in Africa?

Why is Mali so unstable?

It is difficult to enact reforms quickly - and the vast landlocked country is poor, with large areas underdeveloped.

A coup in 2012 led to militant Islamists exploiting the chaos and seizing the north of the country.

French troops helped regain territory, but attacks have continued as the insurgents have capitalised on the persistent political instability in the region.

This has all led to public confidence waning over the army leaders' ability to tackle the Islamist insurgency that has spilled into neighbouring Burkina Faso and Niger.

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Critical stage for fight against jihadis in West Africa .
The multinational effort to stave off an encroaching takeover by Islamist militants faces severe challenges.Mali, where around 400 British troops are currently deployed, has just experienced its second coup in nine months, widely condemned by regional leaders.

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