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Barkhane, Wagner… Tensions rise between France and Mali

By Manon Laplace
Posted on Friday, 1 October 2021 08:56

French soldiers work on a Tiger attack helicopter at the Operational Desert Plateform Camp (PfOD) during the Operation Barkhane in Gao
French soldiers work on a Tiger attack helicopter at the Operational Desert Plateform Camp (PfOD) during the Operation Barkhane in Gao, Mali, August 1, 2019. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

Paris, which is already irritated by the discussions that are taking place between Bamako and the Russian company Wagner, did not appreciate the latest statements made by prime minister Choguel Kokalla Maïga, who accuses it of abandoning Mali.

Relations between Paris and Bamako have become strained, as the two governments continue to clash on more and more issues.

Mali’s prime minister has publicly accused France of turning its back on Mali. At the UN headquarters in New York on 25 September, Mali’s prime minister Choguel Kokalla Maïga described Paris’ decision to reorganise its military presence in the Sahel as ‘abandonment’.

Florence Parly (France’s minister of the armed forces) responded saying these are “untruths”, “unacceptable” and “indecent” statements, which amount to “wiping one’s feet on the blood of French soldiers”.