The end of the European military mission in Mali appears to be in sight. Dozens of European countries are fighting jihadist groups there, but the new military regime of the African country is increasingly opposed to it and seems to favor working with Russian mercenaries.
The French now had the largest fighting force in Mali, about 5,000 men. But 53 soldiers were killed in the area and now they want to withdraw gradually. The plan was for other European countries to largely replace it, but this is difficult.
This is evident, for example, from the treatment received by Danish troops upon their arrival in the country. They had received a “clear invitation” from Mali to provide troops. Last week, 90 commandos and 15 military doctors arrived in Mali. Then all of a sudden came the message that they weren’t allowed in after all.
Yesterday, Danish Foreign Minister Kofod said that the generals who carried out the coup sent a message that we are not welcome. They are playing a dirty political game. “That’s why we decided to bring our soldiers home.”
The current leader of the country, Colonel Asimi Gueta, came to power after a coup last year. The European Union and Mali’s neighbors condemn the coup and demand new elections.
The Danes were to join the so-called Takuba Mission, a new European force to replace the French Barkhane Expedition. Following the return of the Danes, the 15 countries involved held emergency consultations today. Over the next two weeks, they will discuss what a future counterterrorism mission in the Sahel should look like.
The French reacted less diplomatically than the Danes. Foreign Minister Le Drian Call System behavior is unacceptable. “We cannot continue like this, this cannot continue. The military council is illegal.”
Malian Prime Minister Diop calls Who comments “full of contempt” and demands respect. The French position must change. We are looking again at several military treaties. If you violate our sovereignty, we will ask for modifications.
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