Franco-Malian relations deteriorate even further. Monday, January 31, the join in power in Mali decided to dismiss the French ambassador to Bamako, according to state television.
→ READ. In Mali, a not so isolated junta
“The government of the Republic of Mali informs national and international opinion that today (…) the French ambassador in Bamako, his Excellency Joël Meyer, was summoned by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation [et] that he has been notified of the decision of the government which invites him to leave the national territory within 72 hours”, announced a statement read by state television. The Malian authorities have justified this decision by recent declarations “hostile” of French officials against them.
Friday, January 28, the Malian Foreign Minister, Abdoulaye Diop, declared that his country was in crisis with France. “I do not exclude anything”, he said, while adding that a request for the departure of the French forces was not “for the moment on the table”.
→ UNDERSTAND. Mali: the future of the European force Takuba is compromised
Since May 2021 and the arrival of the junta in power by a coup, relations between Paris and Bamako have deteriorated considerably. For six months, France has rearticulated its military presencee in Mali as part of the fight against jihadism in the Sahel, leaving the three northernmost bases of the country. Paris only wants to keep half of its 5,000 soldiers on Malian soil by next year.