Mali claims to have evidence that France has been training “terrorist” organizations in the West African country. Mali’s Prime Minister Choguel Kokalla Maiga told Sputnik News on Friday that French forces had established an enclave in Kidal, a town in northern Mali’s desert area, and turned it over to the terrorist organization Ansar al-Din. “Mali has no access to Kidal; this is a French-controlled enclave,” he claimed, adding that the Malian military was not permitted to enter the region. “They have armed groups that have been trained by French officers. We have proof. We do not understand this situation and will not tolerate it,” Malian Prime Minister Ibrahim Boubacar Keita stated.
Maiga went on to say that the suspected terrorists in the nation “came from Libya, and who destroyed the state of Libya? It was France surrounded by allies.” In 2013, a French operation was established in Mali to purportedly combat terrorists affiliated to the al-Qaeda and Daesh terrorist organizations, according to Paris. This summer, French President Emmanuel Macron promised a gradual reduction in France’s military presence in the Sahel, as well as the conclusion of the Barkhane military mission.
Mali accused France of leaving the conflict-torn country by withdrawing troops “unilaterally.” Mali’s military-dominated administration then requested assistance from private Russian security firms in its war against terrorism. Since then, hostilities between France and its former colony have been intense. Maiga stated that his administration was right in “seeking other partners” to strengthen security.
On Tuesday, Mali summoned France’s ambassador after Macron remarked that the Malian military government was “not even really one.” “It is not the role of the French army to fill in for the ‘non-work,’ if I may describe it, of the Malian state,” Macron stated. Mali’s prime minister told Sputnik that France needed to realize that the junta was in charge of the country’s security and would seek aid from other allies if it was unsatisfied with the French government’s conduct.