France “condemned” on Thursday the “multiplication” according to it “of manipulation of information” in Mali, which asked the UN Security Council for an emergency meeting to put an end to what it presents as ” the acts of aggression” of Paris.
Mali’s military-dominated government accuses France of violations of its sovereignty, support, according to Bamako, to jihadist groups and espionage.
In a letter addressed by the head of Malian diplomacy, Abdoulaye Diop, to the Chinese current presidency of the UN Security Council, Mali “invites” the Council to work so that France “immediately ceases its acts of assault” and called for an emergency meeting.
Mali “reserves the right to use self-defense” if French actions persist, in accordance with the United Nations Charter, says the minister.
Reacting to these accusations on Thursday, the deputy spokesman for the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs François Delmas declared during a press briefing: “we condemn the proliferation of manipulations of information which must in no way divert attention from the degradation of the security and humanitarian situation in the country whose populations are the first victims”.
“The withdrawal of the Barkhane force from Mali has been effective since August 15 and was carried out in complete transparency with the Malian armed forces and with the partners committed to our side”, he continued.
“France will relentlessly pursue the fight against terrorism in the Sahel and West Africa, in support of the political, civil and military efforts of ECOWAS and the States of the region, and in full coordination with its European and American partners. committed,” he added.
The French Embassy in Mali had hammered Wednesday in a tweet that “France has obviously never supported, directly or indirectly, these terrorist groups, which remain its designated enemies throughout the planet”.
These latest manifestations of the deterioration of relations coincide with the departure of the last French soldier in Mali after nine years of engagement against the jihadists. The junta in power in Mali since the August 2020 putsch has turned away from France and its allies to turn towards Russia.
The French army, pushed towards the exit, successively left and transferred to the Malian authorities its various bases in Mali, the last Monday in Gao.