Emmanuel Macron described this Thursday as “shame” the accusations of “abandonment” of Mali by France brought by the transitional Prime Minister, Choguel Kokalla Maïga, at the UN platform. ” I was shocked. These words are unacceptable (…) Whereas yesterday we chaired the national tribute to Sergeant Maxime Blasco (killed in action in Mali), this is unacceptable. It is a shame and it dishonours what is not even a government ”, declared the head of state. by responding to RFI on the sidelines of the Africa 2020 season closing dinner at the Élysée.
“I know the Malians don’t think that”
Paris had already strongly condemned, in recent days, the remarks made on Saturday by Maïga, who affirmed that the announcement by Emmanuel Macron in June of the reorganization of the French military presence, with the programmed end of Barkhane, represented “a kind of abandonment in full flight”. “I know that Malians do not think that”, estimated Emmanuel Macron, stressing that “the legitimacy of the current government”, resulting from two coups d’état since 2020, was “democratically null”.
“We are demanding because we are committed, we want to fight against terrorism and for security,” he added. “We are here because the Malian state asked for it. Without France, Mali would be in the hands of terrorists, ”he said. The President said he expected the junta leaders “to honor their commitments, that in February there will be elections, that they stop putting political opponents in prison, that they do their job, that is. that is to say the return of the State, which they have not done for months ”.
“We are going to continue development projects” in Mali alongside the international community. But “this work cannot be done if the leaders do not take their responsibilities”, he warned.
“It’s not inevitable”
“It is not inevitable,” continued Emmanuel Macron, giving the example of Niger, a country neighboring Mali, where there is “a courageous president, President Bazoum, after another courageous president, President Issoufou. , who do their best, fight for their people, education, health… They do an admirable job ”.
“Our relationship with Africa must go through youth and civil society”, he added before the holding of the France-Africa summit, on October 8 in Montpellier, a summit “a little overturned” which will not bring together heads of state but representatives of African civil society. Africa 2020 was proposed by Emmanuel Macron during his speech to African youth in Ouagadougou, in 2017.