The French president said that if Mali falls into so-called “radical Islamism” after the second coup in a year, Paris will withdraw its troops.
President Emmanuel Macron warned in a comment on Sunday that if France moves towards what he calls “radical Islamism” after a second coup in nine months, it will withdraw its troops from Mali. .
France has about 5,100 soldiers in the region under the so-called “Operation Balkans”, which spans five countries in the Sahel-Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger.
Headquartered in Chad, the mission was launched after France intervened in Mali in 2013 under the intervention of former President François Hollande (François Hollande) to help break through parts of the West African country. fighter.
On Tuesday, France and the European Union condemned an “unacceptable coup” after Mali’s interim President Bah Ndaw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane were detained and deprived of power, which was regarded as The country’s second coup in less than a year.
Macron said that he has told Ndaw that if Mali turns to “radical Islamism”, the former colonial power of France will withdraw its troops.
“Where are the Islamic militants and our soldiers in Mali? Never,” he told the Daily News weekly, speaking of the rise of armed groups in the country.
“Mali has this temptation today. But if I move in this direction, I will retreat.” He warned when commenting on his trip to Rwanda and South Africa. Macron flew to Paris on Saturday.
The French president added that he has sent a message to West African leaders that they cannot support a “country that no longer has democratic legitimacy or transition”.
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has invited Mali’s military leader Colonel Asimi Gota to the capital of Ghana for “consultations” and then held a special summit meeting specifically for Mali on Sunday.
Military and airport sources said Goita flew to Accra on Saturday.
He has served as vice president since the coup d’etat last August. After the coup removed the elected president, he assumed the roles of president and prime minister under the pressure of the Economic Community of West Africa (ECOWAS), which served as a mediator.
However, the transitional leaders were detained on Monday and then released on Thursday. The military said they had resigned.
The two arrests triggered a diplomatic commotion and marked the second obvious coup in the Sahel in a year.
The Constitutional Court of Mali appointed Goi as the transitional president on Friday, thus completing Goita’s full control.
As the military government resumed its previous commitments to civilian political leaders, people expressed doubts about its other commitments.
Macron warned in comments published on Sunday that if Africa’s development fails, then Europe “will pay a high price in terms of immigration”.
He emphasized the need for “substantial investment” and added that the international community must also alleviate some of the debt burden on the African continent “to help Africans build their own future.”