The government of Mali has just ordered the French ambassador, Joël Meyer, to leave the country within 72 hours, France 24 announces this afternoon.
The diplomat was invited by the head of Malian diplomacy Abdoulaye Diop this Monday, January 31, 2022.
This new decision by the Malian leaders follows recent statements by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of France, Jean-Yves Le Drian when Mali questioned the presence of Danish forces on its territories.
The Malian government said it was surprised because a decision on the Danish request in June to deploy troops was still pending.
“There is no agreement authorizing the deployment of Danish special forces in Task Force Takuba,” the Malian government said in a statement. “Norway, Portugal and Hungary are still awaiting approval and have not deployed troops,” he added.
Meanwhile, Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian accuses the Russian private military group of looting Mali’s resources as tensions rise between Paris and Bamako in recent weeks.
“The junta is really out of control,” the French foreign minister told RTL radio, also calling it illegitimate.
Diop, in response to Le Drian’s statements, also said that engagement with Mali should not be done through the media and that the French minister’s remarks are disrespectful.