France “has decided to suspend joint military operations with the Malian armed forces”, “guaranteed guarantees” for the return of the civilian population after the elections scheduled for February 2022, the Ministry of the Armed Forces announced on Thursday after a second coup in nine months in Mali.
“ECOWAS and the African Union have laid down conditions and red lines in order to clarify the framework for the political transition in Mali”, and “until these guarantees have been made, France (…) has decided, as a precautionary and temporary measure, to limit joint military operations with the Malian armed forces and the national advisory missions in their favor, “emphasized the ministry in a press release addressed to AFP.
“These decisions will be reassessed in the coming days in the light of responses from the Malian authorities,” the ministry concludes, while Mali, which has been rocked by two coups in nine months, is a key country in the fight against. is a jihadist in the Sahel, in which France is heavily involved.
With this decision, she is expressing her condemnation of the coup on the ground and trying to support the pressure of the international community on the military coups in Mali.
The French Barkhane force, strong with 5,100 soldiers in the Sahel zone, will continue to operate, but for the time being alone, according to the armed forces. On the other hand, the “Takuba” force, which was initiated by France and consists of European special units that are supposed to train the Malian army in the fight against the jihadists, is among the suspended activities.
In Mali, a military official confirmed on condition of anonymity that the Malian hierarchy had been informed by France of the withdrawal of its cooperation partners with the Ministry of Defense and of the suspension of joint operations.
In the first coup on August 18, 2020, President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, known as “IBK”, who was accused of corruption and impotence in the face of uncertainty, was overthrown after months of protests against the government.
But the junta then committed itself to a transition to civil power within 18 months.
On April 15, 2021, the transitional authorities set dates for the presidential and parliamentary elections in February and March 2022.
In May, however, soldiers, dissatisfied with a government reorganization decided after a growing dispute, arrested the President and Prime Ministers Bah Ndaw and Moctar Ouane, who were being forcibly taken to the Kati military camp near Bamako.
The Constitutional Court then declared the head of state and interim president Colonel Assimi Goïta to be a key man in the current political crisis. The latter assured that the planned elections will take place in 2022.