Mali: France Suspends Joint Military Operations Over Military Coup

Mali: France Suspends Joint Military Operations Over Military Coup

Malian soldiers on May 25 detained interim President Bah Ndaw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane. They stripped them of their powers after a dispute over a cabinet reshuffle.

Colonel Assimi Goita was Ndaw’s deputy in the transitional administration formed in September to steer the country towards full civilian rule. Over the weekend, President Emmanuel Macron warned France would pull its soldiers out of Mali if it lurched towards what he called “radical Islamism” following the coup.

“Requirements and red lines have been set by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union to clarify the framework for the political transition in Mali,” the French Defence Ministry said in a statement; “While awaiting these guarantees, France has decided to suspend, as a temporary measure, joint military operations with Malian forces.”

It is currently unclear whether the move means French troops would remain in the West African nation until a new decision was taken.

France, the former colonial power in the region, has about 5,100 soldiers in the region under its “Operation Barkhane”.

FNSS