France suspends military relations with Mali in coup

Barkhane mission patrol of French soldiers at In-Tillit in Mali in 2017

French troops are part of Operation Barkhane against the Sahel militants

France has suspended joint military operations with Mali over a coup d’etat in a West African country last week.

He said the suspension would continue until there was a guarantee of a return to civilian rule in Mali.

French troops have supported troops from Mali, Chad, Mauritania, Niger and Burkina Faso and have fought militants in the Sahel region.

On May 25, Mali’s military leader, Assimi Goita, expelled the country’s civilian president and prime minister.

It was the second coup d’etat in the country for the first time in nine months.

This week, the West African group Ekowasu and the African Union (AU) have suspended Mali from its bodies.

On Thursday, the French Ministry of Military Affairs said both Ecowas and AU had set up a “framework for the political transition of Mali.”

“While waiting for these guarantees, France has decided to suspend joint military operations with the Malian Armed Forces as a temporary measure,” he added.

The French army will continue to operate there independently.

Colonel Assimi Goïta tells the press at the Mali Defense Ministry in Bamako, Mali.

Colonel Goita has led two coups in the last nine months.

What’s happening in Mali?

Colonel Assimi Goita, the leader of the coup, was appointed as interim president by the Constitutional Court last Friday.

He defended the dismissal as needed because he had failed in the duties of President Bah Ndaw and Prime Minister Moctar Diouf and was trying to impede the transition of the country.

Soldiers arrested and detained two men after a cabinet reshuffle that Colonel Goita said had not been consulted.

He also led a coup last August, and the elected President Ibrahim Bubakar Keita was ousted.

Colonel Goita is now promising that a new prime minister will be appointed within a few days and that elections will continue on schedule next year.

Why is Mali unstable?

Mali is a vast inland country that was once a French colony, and the vast area is poor and underdeveloped.

In a 2012 coup, Islamic extremists took advantage of the turmoil to occupy the north.

French troops helped restore the territory, but attacks continued as rebels took advantage of persistent political instability in the region.

All this has reduced public confidence in the ability of military leaders to confront the Muslim rebellion that has spilled over into neighboring Burkina Faso and Niger.

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