With the open crisis with the Malian junta, France must "
find the way
" to pursue the objective of the fight against jihadists in West Africa, said Thursday, January 20, the French Minister for the Armed Forces, Florence Parly.
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In the Sahel, the security situation remains difficult and is now complicated by a very unfavorable Malian political context and the deployment of Russian mercenaries from Wagner
", a private Russian military company, said the minister during her wishes to the armies. "
We are going to have to find the way to, despite these difficulties, pursue the mission that we have set ourselves and for which the countries of West Africa are asking us for our support: the fight against terrorism
", he said. -she adds.
Strongly engaged militarily in the Sahel with the G5 countries (Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Chad, Mauritania), France thus underlines the importance of cooperating with West African countries in the fight against jihadists, while several neighboring countries of Mali suffer the contagion of violence, such as Côte d'Ivoire, Togo or Benin.
More than ever, we will have a responsibility to bear vis-à-vis these countries, but also to all the partners, particularly European ones, who are engaged with us in the Sahel
", declared the minister.
Read alsoIn Mali, first clashes between Wagner and jihadists
The junta, which came to power in 2020 in Mali after a coup, does not intend to return power to civilians in the short term.
It has thus attracted the hostility of the countries of the Community of West African States (ECOWAS) which have adopted significant sanctions against Bamako.
The European Union could do the same soon, under the impetus of France, which accuses the junta of using the services of the Russian military company Wagner, which Bamako denies.
Takuba is a success
At the request of Paris, many European countries have agreed to invest in Mali over the past two years, in particular by participating in the joint Takuba force, bringing together European special forces to accompany the Malian forces in combat. “
Takuba is a success story, proof that Europeans are capable of fighting together, in demanding missions, when their interests are at stake. we will implement them with our partners
” insisted Florence Parly.
After nearly nine years of presence in the Sahel, France undertook in June to reorganize its military presence there.
In Mali, Paris has closed its three northernmost grips, but has so far intended to maintain troops in Gao, Ménaka and Gossi, with Takuba at the forefront.