After the escalation of tension between the two countries, Mali expels the French ambassador and gives him 72 hours to leave
Malian television said on Monday that the authorities had asked the French ambassador to leave the country within 72 hours, in a move that would affect the future of the French military presence in this West African country.
Malian TV added that Ambassador Joel Meyer was summoned by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation to inform him of the decision.
This step comes amid severe tension in the relationship between France and the ruling military junta in Mali, after the Bamako authorities contracted with the Russian “Wagner” group, which is accused of being involved in conflicts in several countries, including Syria, Libya and Central Africa.
This step also comes a day after statements by French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian accusing Wagner mercenaries of “looting” Mali, where thousands of French soldiers are deployed as part of an anti-terror force in the Sahel region.
Lourdian said that this group does not seek to replace France and the European countries that deploy forces in the African Sahel region, and before that he had accused the Wagner Group of “supporting” the military group that seeks to “seize power” in Mali under the pretext of combating armed groups.
In response to the French minister’s statements, Malian Foreign Minister Abdoulaye Diop said that his country had requested a review of defense and security cooperation agreements with France.
The ruling military junta in Mali denies the presence of Wagner mercenaries in the country, and says that it is related to the presence of Russian trainers similar to the European ones.