Now, in Mali, the new President is “officially” Colonel Assimi Goïta, rather popular, who has already been pulling the strings since his coup in August 2020. He and other soldiers carried out a second coup last week. that the Western intelligence services have, once again, not seen coming.
To give the change to Europe and France, which suffered losses and spent billions against jihadist groups, the Malian colonel and his officers sheltered behind civilian officials who had non-existent room for maneuver, but which suited, in pure hypocrisy, the donors of the international community and the French authorities. Didn’t the Malian soldiers promise to hand over after a period of transition and elections? A fragile balance but which hardly bothered the African, French and UN forces, which have been supporting the Malian army since 2013, still unable to stop the Islamist groups without the means, and the 5,100 soldiers, of the device. French Barkhane.
For the colonel, the chaos, which is not false, could not last any longer, even if he is partly responsible for it. The protests of President Macron, the European Council in Brussels, the United States and pan-African bodies risk, however, being taken for cries of frustration by the putschists. The situation is indeed schizophrenic, in particular for France which is making the big difference in Mali. It does not recognize the “rebel” officers but fights the Islamist groups with their units, which obey their superiors now at the head of the country.
In fact, if Emmanuel Macron speaks “cash” when speaking of withdrawal, even if it means contradicting his Chief of Staff who announced this month in the Figaro that the European armies were for at least ten years in Mali, it is because he suspects the junta of negotiating undercover with the Fulani and Tuareg Islamists, which has already happened. “Radical Islamism in Mali with our soldiers there? No way ! Today there is this temptation in Mali. But if it goes in this direction, I will withdraw ”, insisted Emmanuel Macron.
The same scenario
A warning that may well be wishful thinking. Already because the Malian putschists can consider that there are double standards in relation to Chad, the first ally in the region, since Emmanuel Macron recognized last month in this country the son, general at 37, of the president deceased, now in power at the head of a junta. But above all, the amnesty, validated by the army 20 years ago, of the Islamists in neighboring Algeria to end the civil war could be an example to follow for the Malian colonels. Not to mention the American withdrawal from Afghanistan, which leaves de facto room for the Taliban. Each time the same scenario, already very much started in Mali: a process of political and military decay in the face of an armed Islamist insurgency.
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