Mali warns to defend itself against alleged French sovereignty violations
Mali’s military government would exercise its right to self-defense if France continued to undermine the West African country’s sovereignty and national security, Mali’s foreign affairs minister Abdoulaye Diop warned on Tuesday (18 October).
During a speech delivered at a United Nations Security Council briefing on Mali in New York, Diop accused France of violating Malian airspace and delivering weapons to Islamist militants that have been crippling the country for the past decade, to which France has denied. Mali has been under threat from terrorists since 2012 and has witnessed two military coups since 2020.The military government that came to power in August 2020 has had sharp tensions with France, which had sent troops to its former colony in what many saw as a bid to still have a foothold in the country.
“There needs to be a specific meeting of the Security Council which will make it possible for us to bring to light evidence regarding duplicitous acts, acts of espionage, and acts of destabilization waged by France,” Diop said. “The government of Mali reserves the right to exercise its right to self-defense… if France continues to undermine the sovereignty of our country and to undermine its territorial integrity and its national security,” he added. The minister also denied allegations of violations of human rights by the Malian army which were reported by the UN and other groups. Malian soldiers were accused of torturing and killing civilians that were suspected to be in contact with jihadists.