Tensions between France and Mali are rising sharply. On Monday evening, the Malian junta announced a ban on the activities of all non-governmental organizations funded or supported by Paris, including those operating in the humanitarian field. Interim Prime Minister Colonel Abdoulaye Maiga justifies the decision in a press release posted on social media with France’s recent announcement that it has suspended its official development assistance to Mali.
The French Foreign Ministry referred to the use by the Malian authorities of the Russian paramilitary group Wagner. The junta, which came to power by force in August 2020, has consistently denied contacting the company, which has been condemned in several countries, and speaks of Russian army instructors sent in the name of former cooperation between the two countries.
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Colonel Maiga denounces in a press release “fictitious accusations” and “a ploy to deceive and manipulate national and international public opinion in order to destabilize and isolate Mali.” “Consequently, the transitional government decides to immediately ban any activity carried out by non-governmental organizations operating in Mali, with funding or material or technical support from France, including in the humanitarian field,” he said.