Mali bans France-backed NGOs’ activities

Mali bans France-backed NGOs’ activities

Mali will ban the activities of all non-governmental organizations financed or supported by France, including those operating in the humanitarian field, the junta, which came to power by force in August 2020, announced on Monday (21 November).

The annoucement came few days after Paris suspended its public development assistance to the West African country.

The interim Prime Minister, Colonel Abdoulaye Maiga, justified the decision in a statement posted on social networks by the recent announcement by France that it had suspended its official development assistance to Mali justifying it by the use of the Russian paramilitary group Wagner by Malian authorities. This decision is likely to affect many NGOs that France has continued to support despite the abrupt deterioration in relations between the two countries for more than a year.

The junta has consistently denied having used Wagner Group, whose actions have been criticized in several countries. It speaks of Russian army instructors deployed in the name of a former collaboration between the two countries. In his statement, Colonel Maiga denounced “fanciful allegations” and a “subterfuge intended to deceive and manipulate national and international public opinion for the purpose of destabilization and isolation of Mali. A multitude of NGOs are working in Mali, which has been affected by the spread of jihadism and violence of all kinds since 2012, in the fields of health, food or education.

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