Mali says ready to defend against France violating its sovereignty
As France has previously been held responsible for committing acts of espionage and destabilization, Foreign Minister Abdoulaye Diop affirmed Mali's commitment to defend itself.
Mali's foreign affairs minister Abdoulaye Diop said on Tuesday that the military government will exercise its right to self-defense if France continues to undermine the country's territorial sovereignty and security.
During a speech delivered at a United Nations Security Council briefing on Mali in New York, Minister Abdoulaye Diop accused France of violating Malian airspace and delivering weapons to Islamist militants that have been crippling the country for the past decade, to which France has denied.
Mali has been under threat from terrorists since 2012 and has witnessed two military coups since 2020.
The military government that came to power in August 2020 has had sharp tensions with France, which had sent troops to its former colony in what many saw as a bid to still have a foothold in the country.
"There needs to be a specific meeting of the Security Council which will make it possible for us to bring to light evidence regarding duplicitous acts, acts of espionage, and acts of destabilization waged by France," Diop said.
"The government of Mali reserves the right to exercise its right to self-defense… if France continues to undermine the sovereignty of our country and to undermine its territorial integrity and its national security," he added.
The minister also denied allegations of violations of human rights by the Malian army which were reported by the UN and other groups.
Malian soldiers were accused of torturing and killing civilians that were suspected to be in contact with jihadists.
Calling the allegations "unfounded" and warning against "instrumentalizing" human rights issues, Diop stressed that the withdrawal of foreign troops will not trigger a security vacuum.
Some countries in the EU claim they withdrew their military presence from Mali on grounds of reproaching Mali's relations with the Russian Federation.
But the reality was that Mali had decided to kick them out.
On September 19, the military announced that Germany suspended its reconnaissance patrols in eastern Mali after failing to get flyover rights.
Denmark to start pulling troops out of Mali after junta's request— Biafra Mission TV (@biaframissiontv) January 27, 2022
The Danish foreign Ministry says it has “decided to withdrawal” the special forces deployed to Mali. This follows a second warning issued by the Junta for immediate withdrawal. pic.twitter.com/XRFfVzqkVM
Since then, Jihadist groups advanced further to the east, seizing territories and killing hundreds, whilst a thousand more were displaced.
Last Monday, four UN peacekeepers were killed in a separate attack in northern Mali.
The region has become increasingly violent and unstable since Tuareg separatist rebels rose up against the government in 2012.
The Tuareg separatists and the government agreed to a peace accord in 2015, but it has yet to be applied.
France supposedly intervened to counter Jihadi forces but was later uncovered by the military government as aiding terror groups.
Mali's military government has given Olivier Salgado, the spokesperson for the UN mission to Mali 🇲🇱, 72 hours to leave the country. The order comes after he tweeted that the Malian government was informed of the arrival of 49 Ivorian soldiers as support for a UN contingent. pic.twitter.com/JzE24AD8gs— Sim Lukako (@SLukako) July 23, 2022
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