Mali Gives French Ambassador 72 Hours to Leave

Also told Denmark to pack up its troops and leave

Editor’s note: The EU is sanctioning Mali leadership so Mali is increasingly looking to Russia. When Denmark (who??) started whining and outrage-signalling over Mali contracting Russians, they were told to pack up and leave. The French Ambassador got involved in defending the Danes he was told to leave with them.

Mali on Monday gave the French ambassador 72 hours to leave the country after describing comments by the French foreign minister about its transitional government as “hostile and outrageous” in a statement read on national television.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Friday that Mali‘s junta was “out of control” amid escalating tensions between the West African state and its European partners following two coups.

He also called the junta illegitimate. French Defence Minister Florence Parly said on Saturday French troops would not stay in Mali if the price was too high.

“The French ambassador to Bamako was summoned and notified of a decision by the government inviting him to leave the national territory within 72 hours following hostile and outrageous comments by the French foreign affairs minister recently,” the government statement said.

In a statement later on Monday, France’s Foreign Affairs ministry said it was recalling its ambassador from Mali following the country’s decision to expel the envoy.

“France takes note of the transitional authorities’ decision to bring to an end the mission of France’s Ambassador to Mali. In reaction, France has decided to recall its ambassador,” the ministry’s statement read.

“France reiterates its commitment to the stabilisation and development of the Sahel alongside its partners in the Coalition for the Sahel,” it added.

France has had troops in Mali since 2013, when it intervened to drive back Islamist militants who were advancing on the capital. The Islamists have since regrouped and are waging an increasingly bloody insurgency across the Sahel region. [Which has caused Mali to look to Russia for aid.]

Souring relations

Relations between Mali and its former coloniser deteriorated this month when the junta went back on an agreement to organise elections in February and proposed holding power until 2025.

It has also deployed Russian private military contractors, which some European countries have said is incompatible with their mission.

Mali last week asked Denmark to withdraw its troops belonging to a European task force in the country, which set off a fresh crisis. France asked Mali to let the Danish troops stay, and Mali’s government spokesman told France to keep its “colonial reflexes” to itself.

“Reports the French Ambassador has been declared Persona Non Grata by Mali transitional authorities are unacceptable. Denmark stands in full solidarity with France,” Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod said in a tweet on Friday.

“Such irresponsible behaviour is not what we expect from Mali, will loose international credibility.”

European allies agreed on Friday to draw up plans within two weeks on how to continue their fight against Islamist militants in Mali, Denmark’s defence minister said, after France said the situation with the junta had become untenable.

Source: France 24

Al Jazeera:

Tensions have escalated also over allegations that transitional authorities have deployed private military contractors from the Russia-backed Wagner Group to Mali, which some EU countries have said was incompatible with their mission.

“We can see that the Malian transitional government, or the coup generals, last night sent out a public statement where they again reiterated that Denmark is not welcome in Mali, and we of course will not put up with that,” Denmark’s Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod told reporters on Thursday. “So therefore we have decided to withdraw our soldiers home.”

Denmark had sent 105 military personnel to Mali on January 18 to join a European special forces mission, known as Takuba, that was set up to help Mali tackle armed groups. It said its troops had deployed after a “clear invitation” from Mali.

But the Malian government said this week it was surprised by the Danish presence because a decision had yet to be made on a request from Denmark in June to deploy troops.

  1. TZVI says

    Is Mali a European colony “off the reservation”, or an independent nation? We await the outcome….

    1. Helga Weber says

      France still thinks it is their colony…

  2. Ultrafart the Brave says

    We’re rooting for the little guy – Go Mali!

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