Malian Prime Minister accuses France of training terrorists

According to Prime Minister Choguel Kokalla Maga, France trains terrorists in an enclave in eastern Mali. The rivalry between Paris and Bamako is at an all-time high.

In the aftermath of Operation Barkhane’s redeployment, the tone between France and the Malian transitional administration has continued to escalate. In an interview with Sputnik in Russian, Prime Minister Choguel Kokalla Maga accused Paris of contributing to the country’s destabilization and growth of terrorism.

The leader initially blamed Paris and its allies for the terrorist migration into Mali as a result of their actions in Libya. He did, however, openly accuse the French army of creating armed organizations in the enclave of Kidal, in the country’s east.

Choguel Kokalla Maga condemns France for handing over this land to a terrorist group linked to Ansar Dine, which has declared allegiance to Al-Qaeda.

“Mali does not have access to Kidal, it is an enclave controlled by France. French officers train armed groups. We have evidence… We do not understand this situation and do not want to tolerate it,” the transitional prime minister told Sputnik.

The official added that France prohibited the Malian army from approaching this enclave of Kidal.

Diplomatic tensions

These statements come as relations between the two countries are at an all-time low. At the beginning of June, France announced that it was suspending its military actions in the Sahel, after the seizure of power by Colonel Goïta. Paris intends more broadly to put an end to Operation Barkhane, which has now lasted for seven years.

The Malian authorities cannot digest a military withdrawal, who see it as a form of renunciation. At the beginning of October, Choguel Kokalla Maïga had already castigated an “abandonment in full flight”, at the UN platform. The Prime Minister regretted a “unilateral” decision, taken without consultation with the Malian government and the United Nations.

The situation had become even tenser after the words of Emmanuel Macron, who had called on France Inter for “the state to return” to Mali on October 5. A thinly veiled attack on the transitional government, whose legitimacy the French President is questioning. Bamako had finally responded by summoning the French ambassador.

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