Along the same lines as the African Union and ECOWAS, the French Defense Ministry opted for this measure in an effort to put pressure on the coup’s Military Junta and restore a civilian-led government. This May 24 is not the only recent coup in the country, but a process with “guarantees” is expected from it, which will lead to democratic elections in February.
The Government of France decided to suspend all its joint military operations with Malian troops, in a new attempt to pressure the Military Junta responsible for the coup on May 24.
Through a statement, the French Ministry of Defense indicated that France, after informing its partners and the national authorities, “has decided to suspend, as a precaution and temporarily, military operations with local forces, as well as national advisory missions that the benefit “.
The Executive also indicated that its forces will continue to operate in the country separately and the decision will be re-evaluated in the coming days. The text adds that “ECOWAS (the Economic Community of West African States) and the African Union have established demands and red lines to clarify the framework for the political transition in Mali. It is up to the Malian authorities to respond quickly.”
The most recent coup, in a string of coups
On Monday, May 24, the Malian Army arrested interim President Bah N’Daou and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane and forced them to resign. Both were later released.
The coup was led by temporary vice president Assimi Goïta, who will be inaugurated on Monday, June 7, as “president of the transition.” The ceremony will take place at the Bamako International Conference Center.
Goïta, who also led the coup d’état of August 2020, received the endorsement of the temporary head of state by the Constitutional Court on the 29th.
So far, the reasons for the movement of the military are not known, however, it occurred hours after the new cabinet was known, which excluded two renowned war leaders, who participated in the August 2020 revolt against the then president Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta.
More international pressure on the Military Junta
France’s decision joins that of the African Union, which on June 2 suspended the nation as a member of the pan-African organization and warned it of possible sanctions. This, after the similar measure of the ECOWAS, which until now had been the body in charge of leading the transition process from abroad, in concert with the coup plotters.
France has thousands of soldiers in Mali as part of the fight against Islamist extremism in the Sahel region. It is a territory where the borders are porous and the presence of the authorities in remote areas is weak, which has allowed armed groups to consolidate their power.
Previously, President Emmanuel Macron put on the table the possibility of withdrawing the French troops that remain in Mali. In an interview with Journal du Dimanche, The president indicated that the French soldiers cannot fight alone against terrorism in the Sahel and added that their presence on the ground requires the strengthening of stable and legitimate institutions in that territory.
With Reuters and EFE