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Mali Breaks Off from Defense Accords with France
By Staff, Agencies
Mali announced on Monday it was breaking off from its defense accords with former colonial ruler France, condemning “flagrant violations” of its national sovereignty by the French troops there.
The announcement – threatened several times over the past few weeks – was the latest confirmation of deteriorating relations between Mali and France.
“For some time now, the government of the Republic of Mali notes with regret a profound deterioration in military cooperation with France,” spokesman Colonel Abdoulaye Maiga said in a televised statement.
Maiga cited multiple instances of French forces having violated the country’s airspace.
He referred to the June 2021 decision by France to end joint operations with Malian forces.
And he mentioned France’s decision taken in February to pull out its troops from Mali.
The Malian authorities said they had informed Paris of the decision on Monday afternoon.
France has not so far issued an official reaction to the announcement.
Tensions between France and Mali’s government, in power since August 2020, had been rising for some time.
The agreements Mali has ended were those that set the framework for France’s intervention in Mali in 2014.
They were signed a year after French troops deployed a large force to help Mali’s armed forces stop an extremist offensive there.
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